I love tomatoes. I love the color, taste, fragrance and even shape. This is serious tomato season in Santa Barbara. The Farmer’s Markets are teeming with the most exquisite varietals right now.
By the way, prior to moving to Santa Barbara, I had NO IDEA just how many different kinds of tomatoes there are. I mean, it’s really mind blowing (in a Silver Lining kind of way!) when I think about it.
Some examples include: Avalanch, Beefmaster, Better Boy, Better Girl (I could not have made those up if I tried!), Champion, Early Girl (Really?), Whopper, Pink Girl, Brandywine, Floramerica, The Juice, Golden Gems, and Supersweet, just to name a few.
Did you know that there are two types of tomatoes? I didn’t! They are: Indeterminate and Determinate. Indeterminate tomato types are also known as vining tomatoes. These tomatoes will continue to grow in size throughout the season, until killed by the first frost. Determinate tomato types grow to a fixed size. Cherry tomatoes are smaller than other tomato types, but most people consider them to taste sweeter as well.
On the tennis court the other day, my girlfriend Roxie (yes, she is as cute as her name implies!) came running up to me saying, “Oh my goodness, do I have a fabulous recipe for the blog! It is so amazing and vegan and easy!” How could I turn that down?
She dropped some off for me and can I just say that it is DIVINE…and of course, easy peasy (Silver Lining)? I hope that you enjoy this as much as I do!
- A full cookie sheet of the ripest tomatoes you can find (cut in 1/2). Any of the gazillion options listed above will work.
- One big, yellow onion, quartered.
- A whole head of garlic…less if you do not like garlic.
- Two cups of fresh basil. Roxie believes that you can’t have to much basil!
- Kosher sea salt to taste.
- Ground pepper to taste.
- 4 Tbsp of Expeller pressed canola oil (refined for medium to high heat).
- Optional: Cumin, chile flakes, Herbs de Provence, agave honey.
- On a cookie sheet, combine all of the ingredients.
- Roast in oven at 375 for an hour or so.
- Blend in Vitamix blender. Some people like to put the soup though a sieve, but Roxie’s Vitamix blender blends so well that she likes it all.
- Put on stove on medium heat. If you like, add cumin, chile flakes and/or Herbs De Provence S&P.
- Roxie then sneaks in a little agave honey…Mmmmmmm, she says.
- Then you are: Done-done-done.
- Sometimes Roxie includes add-ons such as: fresh corn or cabbage. It is also good, she says, drizzled with cashew cream and a little green Tabasco sauce.
On a wonderful little side note, did you know that eating cooked tomatoes is better for you than eating uncooked tomatoes? My nutritionist extraordinaire, Rachel Beller, MS, RD explained that cooking tomatoes releases the lycopene from the fibers of the tomatoes which allows your body to absorb the nutrients to a greater degree.
Thank you to Roxie and Rachel for their input on this week’s Friday’s Fixin’s!
It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.
– Lewis Grizzard