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Best Tomato Recipes

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It’s Hotter than Georgia Asphalt

Tomato recipes on www.virginiawillis.com

It’s super hot and the peak of summer. We may be wilting, but tomatoes are thriving! A garden-ripe, fresh tomato is the absolute ultimate in summer produce. Out of season tomatoes are flavorless rock-hard orbs shipped from some other hemisphere. Out of season tomatoes are pure disappointment. In season, tomatoes are bursting with flavor, juicy and luscious. There is nothing as wonderful as the full, rich, almost wine-like flavor of a vine ripe tomato. So, when it’s tomato season, I heartily endorse eating those glorious ripe ones as often as possible.

'Mater Sandwich on www.virginiawillis.com

Dynamic Duo

In my opinion, there is nothing as wonderful as sliced tomato and mayonnaise with a simple sprinkling of salt and a grind or two of pepper. First of all, you have to recognize that mayonnaise is a food group in the South. Southerners for generations have basked in the spell-binding glory of a ‘Mater Sandwich, the magnificent sum that is far grander than its simple parts of cheap squishy white bread, sliced tomato, and mayonnaise. (BTW I am convinced these sandwiches are served as a welcome snack at the Pearly Gates — or at least the Southern entrance.)

Tomato Pie on www.virginiawillis.com

Tomato Pie

And, let’s face it — Tomato Pie is essentially a ‘Mater Sandwich topped with melted cheese. In Secrets of the Southern Table I have a recipe for Pimiento Cheese Tomato Pie. Click HERE for my recipe featured in the New York Times. You’re welcome. 😉

Tomato Recipes on www.virginiawillis.com

Best Tomato Recipes

And, here’s a smattering of other Tomato Recipes for you to try:

Mashama Bailey’s Green Tomato Chowchow

Nathalie Dupree’s Tomato Conserve

Sandra Gutierrez’s Shrimp and Tomato Empanadas

Rebecca Lang’s Cathead Biscuits with Tomato Gravy 

Ronni Lundy’s Tomato Pie 

My Stone Fruit and Cucumber Fruit Salad with Cherry Toms

Tomato Recipes on www.virginiawillis.com

Flavor Combinations

There’s a saying that I believe holds true, especially in summer, “What grows together, goes together. With that in mind — and the heat wave that’s coming this weekend — I’m sharing a recipe for a refreshing gazpacho. And, here’s a little how-to video for the Georgia Peach and Tomato Gazpacho recipe, too! I hope you enjoy this selection of the best tomato recipes for summer. 

Bon Appétit, Y’all!

Virginia Willis

Best Tomato Recipes on www.virginiawillis.com

 

Peach and Tomato Gazpacho with Cucumber-Herb Yogurt

Makes 6 cups to serve 6
Servings: 6
Author: Virginia Willis

Ingredients

  • 4 large peaches peeled, pitted and quartered (about 2 cups)
  • 2 large tomatoes cored and quartered (about 4 cups)
  • ½ sweet onion coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/3 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup finely diced peeled English cucumber about 3 inches
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram or chives plus more for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove very finely chopped
  • Best-quality extra-virgin olive oil for garnish (optional)
  • ¼ peach pitted and thinly sliced, for garnish

Instructions

  • Combine the quartered peaches, tomatoes, onion, and vinegar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. (Take the time to chill the serving bowls at this time, as well.)
  • Place the yogurt in a medium bowl. Add the cucumber, chives, and garlic and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.
  • When ready to serve, taste and adjust the soup for seasoning with salt and pepper. (Chilling dulls the seasoning so it may need to be adjusted.) Ladle the chilled gazpacho into the chilled bowls. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cucumber-yogurt mixture into the center. Garnish with a peach slice and a sprig of marjoram. Drizzle over a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

I told my mama about this soup and her slow response, in a very dubious drawl, was “Peaches and tomatoes?” I’ll admit my family can be a bit slow sometimes in accepting my version of “new Southern cooking.” Guess what? She loved it and I think you will, too. This soup is indeed summer in a bowl. It’s light and refreshing, just the right balance of sweet peaches and slightly acidic tomatoes. Best yet, this elegant soup may be made ahead. Take the time to chill the serving bowls, as well, for an extra special touch.


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Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis has made chocolate chip cookies with Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson, foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and beguiled celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Bill Clinton, and Julie Chrisley with her cooking -- but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Virginia is a chef instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen and author of Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South, Lighten Up, Y’all, Bon Appétit, Y’all, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Okra, and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome received a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence. She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network's Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of "Seven Food Writers You Need to Know." Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude and approachable spirit. Learn more about Virginia and follow her traveling exploits at www.virginiawillis.com.

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