Tag Archives: tomatoes

Mini Cherry Tomato Clafoutis

9 Jul

When it comes to cooking for just myself, I’m lazy. I call this a confession, but I’m guessing that most of you can relate. Whether it’s grabbing a quick weeknight nibble in between homework and studying, or trying to shove something in my mouth before going out with friends, food ceases to be my top priority.

That’s why when I’m in a rush, eggs become my go-to meal. I simply heat up some frozen veggies in a pan with a bit of olive oil, then add the eggs and scramble them quickly, then top it off with a bit of tomato sauce and freshly ground pepper. Voila! Healthy and tasty dinner ready in under 10 minute.

The eggs are wonderful when feeding just me, but sometimes I need something a bit more presentable that I can feel good about serving to friends or family, but still don’t want to spend a long time slaving away in the kitchen. These Mini Cherry Tomato Clafoutis proved to be the perfect solution. They take less than 10 minutes of active prep (plus 32 minutes in the oven) and come out looking pretty impressive if I do say so myself.

Fresh out of the oven, they are light and airy souffle-like creations that make you look like a master chef, no one else needs to know how easy they are to make. Within a few minutes, however they fall and become a bit denser, taking on an almost pancake-like consistency.

These are a perfect appetizer and they taste just as good microwaved for breakfast the next morning. The tartness of the tomatoes adds a delicious contrast to the comforting eggy taste of the Clafoutis itself. Make them in the next few months to take full advantage of summer’s most flavorful tomatoes.

Mini Cherry Tomato Clafoutis

Adapted from Vegetarian Times Farmers’ Market Cookbook

Serves: 12

Ingredients: 

  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups skim milk
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the eggs in bowl, then gradually whisk in flour. It may be slightly lumpy, but try to get it as smooth as possible.
  3. Stir in milk, yogurt, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  4. Divide the batter in two, then distribute 1/2 of the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake 10 minutes.
  5. Place 3-4 tomato halves in each muffin cup, round-side up. Pour remaining batter over the top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 22 minutes more, or until tip of knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 1 minute, then unmold with knife or thin spatula. Serve warm.
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Fresh Corn Grilled Salad

19 Jun

This recipe is for…wait for it…a salad! I’ve never posted a salad recipe on my blog before because I feel like it’s cheating. When I make a salad, normally I just chop up whatever vegetables we have lying around and top it with some salsa or lemon juice with salt and pepper, but this salad is different. This salad is special. This salad is an adaptation of my very favorite salad, the Fresh Corn Grilled Salad.

Whenever I go to Fresh Corn Grill in Westwood I get this salad because even though there are half a dozen other things on the menu that sound good, nothing can be as delicious as this salad. I get this salad whenever I meet friends for lunch or whenever I’m in the neighborhood and feel like treating myself to a takeout dinner. It’s that good. Unlike most salads, it feels like a complete, filling meal purely from vegetables. The warmth of the freshly grilled veggies in the salad make it feel comforting ad satisfying without the addition of unnecessary cheese, nuts or other add ons.

For a get together with friends the other night, I decided to try to recreate the salad on my own simply by going off the ingredients for the salad that are listed on the menu: corn, zucchini, asparagus, tomato, avocado, mixed greens, and vinaigrette. Easy right? Well the real problem lied in the name of the salad itself, grilled.

I don’t know how to grill and I wasn’t about to make the night that I’m having friend over the night that I decided to experiment, so I decided to use our Cuisinart Calphalon Double Grill Pan to grill the vegetables over the comfort of the stove.  I simply oiled the pan and put it over two burners and I was able to get the beautiful grill marks and texture without the hassle of setting up the big, intimidating grill.

Once the grilling was over, the rest was easy. I just chopped the grilled veggies, added avocado, mixed them with greens and whipped together a simple vinaigrette to go with it. Easy!

The salad lived up to my delicious expectations, but the rave reviews that I got from my friends were a total surprise. Never had I seen teenagers fighting over salad so much in my life! My friends were actually going for seconds, thirds, and maybe even fourths of this salad. So Anita, Liz, and Ginelle, here’s the salad recipe especially for you.

Fresh Corn Grilled Salad

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 4 ears of corn, husked
  • 3 zucchini, cut lengthwise into long slices
  • 3 tomatoes, cut widthwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 bundle of asparagus (about 15), bottoms removed
  • 1 bundle of scallions (about 8), bottoms and tops removed
  • 1 avocado, peeled with pit removed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound of mixed greens
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoons honey (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions: 

  1. Drizzle the grill pan (or grill) with 1-2 tablespoons oil and allow it to heat up. Grill the scallions and tomatoes for 5 minutes. Grill the asparagus and zucchini for 10 minutes, turning often. Grill the corn for 10-20 minutes, turning a few times. Each time that you load a new layer of veggies onto the grill, add another tablespoon or two of new oil.
  2. Allow the veggies to cool for 5 minutes then cut the corn off the cob and cut the rest of the vegetables  into 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. In a salad bowl, gently toss to combine the veggies, avocado, and mixed greens.
  4. In a small bowl mix together the mustard, garlic, honey (if desired) salt, pepper, and vinegar. Start to drizzle in the oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking rapidly.
  5. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and serve!

Homemade Italian Style Vegetable Soup

9 May

The sudden arrival of Spring means two things. One, the weather gets warmer so that frolicking outdoors starts to seem more appealing than slaving away in the kitchen.  Two, the farmer’s markets are full of the freshest, cheapest delicious produce. To take full advantage of the best of both situation, I highly suggest that you make this soup!

Now I know that making soup just as it’s finally starting to get warmer out may seem counterintuitive, but I promise, this really is a good idea… This soup is chock full of delicious vegetables to provide you with energy without weighing you down. By making this soup now, you can have it stored away in your freezer for easy, nutritious meals all summer long. My logic is, stock up now so that you don’t have to think about it later!

Homemade broth

This soup makes a veggie-filled accompaniment to any lunch or dinner. Store it in individually-portioned glass jars in your freezer, so that you can take it out the night before and have a delicious, preservative-free soup ready when you want in.

Mishmash of delicious veggies

This is an incredibly flexible soup to which you can add any vegetables, herbs, or spices that you have on hand. Feel free to add beans and pasta to make it more of a traditional Minestrone. Or top the soup with a bit of pesto to give it a French provincial flavor. You can even substitute the basil, oregano, and thyme for some miso paste and siracha sauce to give it a slightly Asian taste.

Delicious and nutritious and ready to go!

Homemade Italian Style Vegetable Soup

Servings: 8

Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of assorted vegetables in less than pristine condition (onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, lettuce, leeks, ect)
  •  2 bay leaves
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 3 cloves of garlic, lightly chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs of rosemarry or other herbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 leeks, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen green beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspooon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach or kale, defrosted

Directions

  1. Dump your assorted vegetables, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, and herbs into a large stock pot and fill the pot with enough water to just barely cover the vegetables. With the stove on high, bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. In the mean time chop up and prepare all of your vegetables for the soup itself. Use a strainer to remove the vegetables, and then set the remaining vegetable broth aside. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time, you could skip this step altogether and use boxed or frozen vegetable broth.
  2. Using the same stock pot as before, lightly saute your celery, onion, leeks, and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add your carrots and zucchini and continue to lightly saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes, green beans, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and broth (from step one).
  4. Allow soup to simmer for 30-45 minutes, then add in the spinach or kale, and allow it to cool for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Ladle into bowls and serve (or freeze). Enjoy!