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Recipes show off tomatoes’ versatility

Rocky Mountain News
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Courtesy of Whole FoodsPanzanella (Italian Bread Salad)
ALL |

Tomatoes are as versatile as your imagination allows. Here are some creative ways to showcase them, whether fresh from the vine or dried by the sun.

6 cups day-old crusty peasant-style bread, cut or torn into bite-size pieces

1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup olive oil



Sea salt and pepper, to taste

3 cloves garlic, minced



2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 medium tomatoes, cut into small wedges

3/4 cup red onion, sliced



10 fresh basil leaves, shredded

1/2 cup pitted green olives, halved

1 cup mozzarella (marinated if you like), cut into bite-size pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss bread, 1/3 cup olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Lay bread on baking sheet and toast in oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.

Remove bread from oven and cool slightly. Whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil and vinegar. Stir together bread with all remaining ingredients. Add vinaigrette.

Let salad sit for 20 minutes or so to absorb dressing and for flavors to blend.

– Whole Foods

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 ounce dried tomatoes (about five large pieces), not packed in oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

18 white mushrooms

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

1/3 cup finely ground dry bread crumbs

1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

1/4 cup parsley leaves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Soak tomatoes in hot water to cover, 5 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon soaking liquid; drain the tomatoes and chop fine. * Remove stems and chop mushroom stems finely, reserving caps. In a skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Cook stems and shallots, stirring, until shallots soften.

Stir together mushrooms with all ingredients (including reserved soaking liquid) except Parmesan. Mound stuffing in caps; place in lightly greased shallow baking dish. Sprinkle mushrooms with Parmesan; bake 15 minutes.

– Gourmet magazine

Makes 18.

3/4 cup olive oil, plus additional for brushing tortillas

2 teaspoons chile powder

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

2 large zucchini, unpeeled

2 yellow squash, unpeeled

2 red bell peppers

1 large eggplant, unpeeled

1 large onion, cut into thin rounds

Salsa:

1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced, more or less to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 whole-wheat flour tortillas, 6-inch diameter

3 ripe avocados, sliced thinly

Lime wedges for garnish

Prepare the vegetables: Cut the zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Seed, de-rib and cut the green bell pepper into 1-inch- wide strips. Cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.

Preheat the grill to 375 degrees, a medium-hot grill. Mix the olive oil, garlic, chile powder and salt in a large, shallow bowl. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, eggplant and onion to the bowl. Using your hands, rub the seasonings into the vegetables. Grill the vegetables in batches until lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side, or until the vegetables are tender.

For salsa: Combine the tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, salt and pepper in a non-metallic bowl and toss to combine. Taste and correct the seasonings. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to two days.

Lightly brush both sides of the tortillas with olive oil. Grill the tortilla until lightly charred on both sides, about 3 minutes total. Put 1 tortilla on each plate. Divide the vegetables equally over the tortillas, top with salsa, sliced avocado and lime wedge.

” Whole Foods

Serves 6.


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