Author: Tara Roberts

Fresh Tomato Soup with Basil and Farro

Well, we are getting our first taste of fall; up here in east TN, it has been in the 40’s the last couple of mornings and with Irma barreling towards us, most of the south should see some rain.  That makes me feel like snuggling up under a blanket, reading, and having some soup…but there are still fresh tomatoes you say, no problem with this one pot, stick to your ribs, fresh tomato soup.  Even with the farro, I envision serving this with a big hunk of crusty bread, maybe with a little garlic and olive oil rubbed and drizzled on.  If you cannot find the farro, you could always substitute soaked wheat or spelt berries.  Two notes: As I was reading this an announcement came that the Tuesday markets would be cancelled this week, due to Irma, so get to your local Saturday market and stock up before she heads our way.  Also, I will be away next week, so no recipe post next Friday.  Be safe!

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Southern Tomato Pie

If you follow my personal Instagram or Facebook pages, you will realize that when it is tomato season, I make tomato pies and tarts.  I have a tried and true recipe that hints more at Italy than the southern United States, but I also like to tweak that recipe as well as try completely new and different recipes.  This is the “new and different” one that I will make this week.  I like that this recipe uses a combo of roasted and fresh tomatoes, plus it uses a lot of tomatoes.  I am also interested to see how the caramelized onions and fontina cheese pair with them.  One tweak that I will make: I will use the food processor for the dough.  I have more experience with this method and it will go much quicker; also by pulsing, you have better control with less likelihood of over-mixing.  It is a somewhat time consuming recipe, although not that much hands on, but I have high hopes and will report back via FB when I have done mine.

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Pasta Salad with Pesto

Last week was one of those weeks…one of those weeks that I knew I had to prepare ahead of time or risk eating cereal for lunch and dinner.  One of the meals that I prepared was this pasta salad and boy am I glad that I did.  Truth time: a lot of pasta salad can be big bowls of flavorless oil or worse, cooked pasta with mayonnaise dumped on-yes I said it.  Neither is true for this one.  Both mayo and oil are in the recipe, but used in such a way that you do not feel like you are eating a mouthful of grease, plus, the pesto brings a wealth of flavor, and the tomatoes add a bright freshness.  In case you cannot tell, I really liked this.  Best of all, it made a big bowl that I portioned out for lunch and dinner a few days in this busy, busy week.

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Summer Tomato Gratin

So, its late summer and you couldn’t resist buying all those tomatoes…you had a plan; fresh summer tomatoes with everything, but then, life got in the way and those big, bright, beautiful tomatoes are looking kind of spotty and leaky…what to do.  Well, you certainly could make tomato sauce, a cooked salsa, or that amazing tomato jam recipe that I put up last year, but why not try something different that really concentrates the tomato flavor and gives a new appreciation for summer.  Yes, you do have to turn the oven on, but you can transform those sad, leaky countertop tomatoes into a spectacular new dish that seems like you planned it all along.

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Peachy Pork with Charred Onions

I don’t often recommend meat recipes in these posts for a couple of reasons: 1. We have so many veggies and so many ways to try them, I usually have no trouble finding recipes, and 2. In the past people have not seemed as enthused by the meat recipes as the veggie ones.  I am making an exception with this because it is so easy and so full of flavor.  I made this midweek and we gobbled it up. I mean, who knew that charred peaches and red onions with a little drizzle of pomegranate molasses and a bite of pork would be so transcending?  If any of you did I wish you would have told me…If chops are not your thing, I think you could sub in pork tenderloin or maybe even a pork burger.  I am not going to make a meat substitute rec’ but would be interested to hear about the results of anyone’s experiments.  So, get yourself a couple of peaches before the season is over and try this. You will be glad that you did.

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