Author Joanne Weir Shares Her Favorite Recipes Involving Tomatoes

August is National Tomato Month, and Dean talks with Joanne Weir, author of “You Say Tomato: Peel, Chop, Roast, Dry, Freeze, Preserve, and Enjoy,” about delicious recipes that incorporate tomatoes. See below for some of Joanne’s tasty recipes.

ARM BLT SALAD
 
6 slices thick-slice apple-smoked bacon, ½” pieces, about 6 ounces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large head curly escarole or 2 heads frisee, torn into 2″ pieces, washed, spun dry
4 large ripe tomatoes, 1/2″ wedges
4 green onions, white and green, thinly sliced
 
Place the bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Cook, turning occasionally,  until the bacon is golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.  Reserve. 
 
Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.  Add the olive oil and stir together.  Add the bacon back to the pan and warm gently over low heat.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar and season to taste with salt and vinegar. 
Place the escarole or frisee, tomatoes and green onions in a salad bowl.  Toss with the vinaigrette and serve immediately.
 
Serves 6
PEPPERONI PIZZA STRADA
Strada is a delicious, savory version of bread pudding. This recipe combines all of the things I love about pizza – oven roasted tomatoes, pepperoni, basil, oregano and cheesy goodness – without the need to mess with pizza dough. Using day old artisanal bread and a savory egg custard base, this dinner could not be an easier or more satisfying. With a mixed greens salad on the side, this is my definition of the ideal no-fuss dinner.
4 cups cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 pound stale artisanal bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
8 ounces fresh milk mozzarella, diced
3 ounces pepperoni, ½-inch dice
3/4 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat an oven to 400 F.
Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Toss together and season with salt.  Spread the tomatoes in a single layer and roast in the oven until the tomatoes are soft and most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated, 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes..
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, basil, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside.  Add the bread and let sit 5 minutes.
With the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, oil a 2 1/2-qt. baking dish.  Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, pepperoni and half of the Grana Padano to the egg and bread mixture. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining Grana Padano onto the top and bake until the strata has set and is golden on top, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 6
SICILIAN TOMATO PESTO
 
1/4 cup pinenuts
4 cups fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 large ripe red tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped and drained
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the pine nuts.  Stirring constantly, cook the pine nuts until golden, 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from the pan immediately.
 
Place the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil in a blender or a food processor and blend at high speed until smooth.  Stop and scrape down the sides.  Add ½ cup cheese and red pepper and pulse a few times to make a  thick paste.  Fold the tomatoes into the pesto.  Season with salt and pepper.
Makes about 2 ½ cups
YouSayTomato
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