Cherry Tomatoes

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store)

Any of you folks out there who were kids of the 1970s will be familiar with this version of a casserole. We had it at least once a week at my house! It may be old fashioned, but it is still delicious, especially if you are hungry for a bit of nostalgia. So sit back, watch some episodes of the Brady Bunch and get groovy with vegetables!

Old Fashioned Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 sweet peppers, chopped
  • half a pint of fresh okra, chopped into rings
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (we used Grass Roots chicken tenders)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped, including green parts
  • 1 package butter crackers, crushed (we used Late July organic classic rich crackers)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, heat a bit of oil over medium high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until starting to get soft. Add garlic, cooking for another minute. Add okra and tomatoes, sprinkling all with a bit of salt & pepper. Really let the tomatoes cook down and get a bit of browning on the vegetables, being careful to stir and prevent any burning.
  3. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in sour cream and cooked chicken. Dump into 9 x 13 pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with green onions and with cheddar cheese.
  4. Mix melted butter and crushed crackers together, then sprinkle over top of casserole.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Enjoy!

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store)

This recipe uses lots of delicious things that can be found at any local farmstand or farmer’s market. It is also a great way to use up leftover rice.

Farmstand Rice

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 pound Grass Roots ground turkey
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 small summer squash, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pint fresh okra, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric root powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated mild cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, cook ground turkey over high heat until no pink remains and it is browning at the edges. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. In same skillet, add about a tablespoon oil and warm over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and starting to brown and caramelize.
  3. Add squash and okra and cook for 2 more minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until warmed through.
  4. Stir in paprika, turmeric, chili powder, and salt & pepper.
  5. Add rice and stir together. Transfer to a large casserole dish. Add ground turkey and grated cheese. Stir together to melt the cheese into the warm vegetable mixture. Enjoy!

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store)

There were so many tomatoes in this week’s share! The beautiful little golden cherry tomatoes have a sweetness that only intensifies when it is cooked. I decided to make some scones (always a good idea) and highlight the flavor of the summer tomato. Perfect not only for breakfast or brunch, but a nice side for dinner as well. Split them and fill with a little ham and cheese and they make a great lunch, too.

 

Tomato Scones

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Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-1/8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  1. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Place in a small colander. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and let them sit for a few minutes. Once they have given off a bit of juice, pat with a paper towel to absorb a bit more juice and some seeds. Set aside.
  2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in cold butter with a fork, until mixture is crumbly and combined.
  3. Add tomato pieces and stir to coat.
  4. Combine milk and egg and beat to combine. Add to dry mixture and stir until everything is just moistened and starts to hold together.
  5. Turn out onto a very well floured surface. Sprinkle with a little more flour and knead very lightly to form a dough. Pat into a circle about an inch thick.
  6. Transfer to a well-greased baking sheet. Cut circle into 8 wedges.
  7. Melt last tablespoon of butter. Brush the tops of the wedges with the melted butter.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for another 15 minutes.

Storage

Store tomatoes at room temperature as refrigeration may cause them to lose flavor and develop a mealy texture. Keep in a vented package (such as the pulp baskets they are often delivered in) out of direct sunlight. Tomatoes let off a high amount of ethylene gas which speeds the ripening process, so don’t keep near other fruits or vegetables that spoil easily. Also be sure to check tomatoes regularly as one spoiled tomato can cause the rest to go bad very quickly.

Recipes

Enjoy them fresh (our favorite)!

Add to salads

Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes with Garlic and Basil

No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Easy Cherry Tomato Salsa

Summer Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Mixed Tomato Cobbler

Preservation

Cherry tomatoes can be preserved in a number of ways, including freezing and dehydrating. You can also can tomatoes, but if you choose to do so please follow a trusted recipe to make sure you add enough acidity for safe storage.

To freeze, wash and dry cherry tomatoes and lay out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Let freeze for at least 2 hours, then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container for long-term storage. Keep in mind that frozen cherry tomatoes will lose their plump texture, so they are best used for recipes in which they will be cooked.

You can also slow-roast your cherry tomatoes before freezing. Cut tomatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast at 300 degrees F for about two hours (check every half hour to make sure they don’t burn). Let cool, then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze.

Dehydrated cherry tomatoes can be added to pastas, pizzas, salads, and more throughout the winter months. Cut tomatoes in half and place cut-side up on your dehydrator until most of the moisture is gone. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can slow-roast in the oven. Bake the tomatoes cut-side up at the lowest temperature setting for about 3 hours or until most of the moisture is gone (this may take longer depending on the size and moisture content of your tomatoes). Store dried tomatoes in an airtight container at a cool temperature.