Archive for the ‘tomato’ Category

Preserving Summer: Tomato Jam

Monday, August 31st, 2009

field-ripened tomatoesOur Potomac Vegetable Farms CSA bag was full of ripe summer tomatoes last week, after a slow and soggy start to tomato season here in Virginia. Unfortunately, we were leaving town the day after our pick-up. Of course, that was also the day we got the notice that the boxes of surplus canning tomatoes were available, and I was feeling panicked at the thought of not putting up tomatoes this year and faced with a pile of tomatoes we certainly wouldn’t be able to finish before leaving. I had recently seen a recipe for tomato jam and decided that was the perfect project for the night as it mainly involves simmering on the stove for a couple hours, giving me time to pack. A huge thunderstorm kept the boy awake so I put him to work slicing up the excess cherry tomatoes we also needed to use up. (Using a kid-safe knife, of course.)

prep workI made slight alterations, using turbinado sugar and a touch of honey and a splash of Virginia’s North Gate Petit Verdot that was also in need of using up. (Not that I couldn’t have used a glass or two, but it would’ve made it even less likely that I would get all our luggage packed that night.)

For the recipe, see: Tomato Onion Jam by Jennifer Perillo/Tasty Kitchen. My alterations: 1 1/2 cup raw (turbinado sugar) and 1/4 cup raw honey, omit the brown sugar. Add 2 tablespoons red wine in lieu of lemon juice.

This weekend was the Canvolution kick-off — a nationwide effort to restore the art of preserving food, launched by former Washington Post blogger Kim O’Donnel and a host of other food writers and bloggers. Visit the Canning Across America website for a host of canning resources and advice, particularly this great article on canning with kids.

The highlight of my first mother-son canning experiment was seeing the pride in my son’s eyes as he handed his aunt and grandma their jar of jam, declaring, “I made this myself!”

What have you canned lately?

market-inspired meals: pasta, tomatoes, squash & quince

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

sweet potato ravioli

This week in the market bag: butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pears (Asian, bosc & Bartlett), broccoli, heirloom tomatoes, quince, eggs, sweet potato ravioli, pumpkin butter, mozzarella and seven-cheese macaroni. (That’s right, seven!) We were busy pumpkin picking and farm visiting this weekend, so the prepared pastas came in handy.

Saturday supper: sweet potato ravioli with mascarpone pumpkin sauce*, heirloom tomato, mozzarella & arugula salad. This is not exactly a health-conscious main dish, but we compensate by eating a big helping of salad.

Sunday supper: seven-cheese macaroni with tomato & broccoli salad.

*Recipe: Sweet Potato Ravioli with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce

This is a really quick and simple no-cook sauce. While the ravioli boils, stir together 2 T mascarpone and 2 T pumpkin butter in a serving bowl. Scoop the ravioli out and straight into the bowl and toss gently to coat. (Add pepper & fresh parsley to taste.) If you don’t have pumpkin butter on hand, you could also quickly brown 1-2 T butter, and stir in 2 T pumpkin puree, a pinch of brown sugar and cinnamon, and 2 T mascarpone.

(Makes 2.5 servings – double these quantities for larger batch of ravioli.)

Toddler Verdict: Unfortunately the boy was battling a stomach bug and didn’t have much appetite this weekend, but he’s never turned down ravioli otherwise. And he did enjoy the macaroni.

On the menu this week: I’ve never used a fresh quince before, but am thinking of making this quince & cranberry sauce to serve on pork chops. The butternut will go in soup with something pear-related on the side.