Tomato Egg Drop Soup

Serves 6 to 8 (makes about 7 cups).

Note: Tomatoes and hickory bacon add a satisfying, smoky richness to this classic velvety soup. Serve it on its own, or over rice or noodles. Oyster sauce is found in the Asian section of the supermarket. From the Washington Post.

• 5 strips hickory-smoked bacon, diced

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 4 c. low-sodium or no-salt-added chicken broth

• 5 ripe, medium tomatoes, cored and diced (about 1 lb. total)

• 2 tbsp. regular or low-sodium soy sauce

• 1 tbsp. oyster sauce (see Note)

• 2 tbsp. sugar

• 2 eggs

• Salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 2 tbsp. cornstarch

• 2 tbsp. water

• 1/2 c. diagonally sliced green onions, for garnish

Directions

Combine the bacon and garlic in a large skillet; place over medium heat. Fry until the bacon has crisped, adjusting the heat as needed so the garlic does not burn.

Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon and garlic to the pot, leaving as much of the rendered fat behind as possible. Stir the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar into the pot, until the latter has dissolved; cook for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down.

Use a fork to lightly beat the eggs in a cup; season lightly with salt and pepper, then add to the soup, whisking constantly, until well distributed.

Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to form a smooth slurry, then stir that slurry into the soup. Cook, stirring, until the soup is thickened.

Divide among individual bowls; garnish with the green onions. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings (no-salt broth, low-sodium soy sauce):

Calories 100 Fat 4 g

Sodium 410 mg Carbohydrates 10 g

Saturated fat 2 g Protein 6 g

Cholesterol 55 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

 

Parmesan BLT Galettes

Serves 10 to 12.

Note: This is a free-form baked riff on a BLT, with mayonnaise in the crust, for flavor, and in the filling. The tomatoes can be roasted a day or two in advance; refrigerate until ready to use. The dough can be refrigerated a day or two in advance. The galette is best served the same day it’s made. From the Washington Post.

• 4 large tomatoes

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar, divided

• 2 tsp. coarse salt, divided

• 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided

• 2 1/4 c. flour

• 1 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

• 12 tbsp. (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

• 1 c. regular or low-fat mayonnaise, divided

• 1/2 to 3/4 c. ice water, divided

• 7 strips thick-cut hickory-smoked bacon

• 1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary

• 1 1/2 c. arugula, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Core the tomatoes, then cut them into 3/4-inch slices, transferring them to a mixing bowl as you work. Add the oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper; toss to coat evenly.

Arrange the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet; drizzle with the liquid left in the mixing bowl. Roast for 35 minutes, then cool. Drain the juices.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, 1/2 cup cheese, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and all the butter in a food processor; pulse just enough to form a mixture that resembles a coarse meal. (The bits of butter should be no larger than peas.) Add 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, pulsing just to incorporate.

With the motor running, drizzle in 1/2 cup ice water; process to form a dough that comes together in a ball. If the mixture remains crumbly, add enough of the remaining water, as needed. The dough should not be sticky. Transfer to plastic wrap and shape into a disk; wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 days).

Line a plate with paper towels. Use kitchen shears to cut the bacon into small strips (lardons), placing them in a medium skillet as you work. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring as needed. Increase the heat to medium to finish browning and crisping the bacon, which should take 5 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to the paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 400 degrees. Lay 2 sheets of parchment paper on the work surface.

Divide the dough in half. Roll out each portion of dough on its own parchment paper to a round that’s 11 inches across (about 1/4-inch thick). Transfer each one, on its paper, to its own baking sheet.

Whisk together the remaining cheese and the remaining mayonnaise in a medium bowl until well blended; spread half of the mixture on each dough round, leaving a 1-inch margin around the edges.

Arrange the roasted tomato slices in a circular pattern on each dough round, again leaving a 1-inch margin. Sprinkle with the crisped bacon pieces and the rosemary. Fold the dough in at the edges all around. Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is well browned, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the arugula in a bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. To serve, cut each galette into wedges, then top each wedge with the dressed greens. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per each of 12 servings:

Calories 410 Fat 30 g

Sodium 580 mgCarbohydrates 26 g

Saturated fat 12 gProtein 9 g

Cholesterol 60 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

 

Lamb Shanks With Tomato

Serves 2 to 4.

Note: With its deeply savory tomato flavor, this rich-tasting entree is easy to make and offers enough sauce to repurpose for leftovers on pasta. When you use ripe summer tomatoes, they’ll generate enough liquid on their own for simmering. In winter, you can use plum tomatoes, which may be drier, so add the optional cup of water. Serve over pappardelle pasta, polenta or mashed potatoes.

• 8 to 10 large tomatoes (see Note)

• 8 large garlic cloves, unpeeled

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• Kosher salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 2 lamb shanks (about 4 1/2 lb. total)

• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

• 2 tbsp. fresh oregano

• 1 c. water, optional (see Note)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Have a shallow roasting pan at hand.

Combine the tomatoes and garlic in the pan; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and a dash of salt. Roast for 45 minutes, until fragrant and the tomatoes have broken down and released their juices. Use tongs to pull off and discard as much of the tomato skins as possible.

Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins into the pan, discarding the skins. Use a spatula or your clean hands to mash the tomatoes and garlic together. Let the mixture rest while you prep the lamb.

Season the lamb shanks well with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the lamb shanks; sear until lightly browned all over, turning them as needed. Use tongs to transfer them to a plate.

Stir the onion into the pot, adding a pinch of salt. Cook for about 8 minutes or until the onion is barely translucent, stirring often. Add the oregano, then return the shanks to the pot. Add the tomato-garlic mixture; if the tomatoes were particularly juicy, there should be enough liquid to cover the shanks. If not, add the cup of water. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is quite tender, checking a few times to make sure the meat is submerged. (It might fall off the bone; that is OK.)

Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Discard the bones, and divide the meat evenly if you’re creating 4 portions. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per each of 4 servings:

Calories 400 Fat 17 g

Sodium 300 mg Carbohydrates 6 g

Saturated fat 5 g Protein 53 g

Cholesterol 165 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

 

Tamatar Piaz

Serves 4 to 6 (makes 3 cups).

Note: This is one of the spicier variations of a North Indian vegetarian dish whose name means “tomato and onion.” You’ll need a medium (10-inch) skillet with a lid. Serve with basmati rice and/or plain Greek yogurt. The dish can be covered and refrigerated for 3 days; its flavor improves with time. From the Washington Post.

• 6 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 tsp. cumin seeds

• 2 medium yellow onions, cut in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise into half-moons

• 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

• 1/2-in. piece ginger root, peeled and minced

• 1 tsp. ground turmeric

• 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

• 1 tsp. salt, plus more as needed

• 4 medium tomatoes, firm but ripe, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced lengthwise into medium-thin half-moons (1 3/4 to 2 lb. total)

• Leaves from 6 stems cilantro, minced or left whole, for garnish

Directions

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the cumin seeds; cook until they turn a darker brown, 45 seconds to 1 minute, then add the onions and stir to coat with the oil. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions become slightly translucent; add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the turmeric and cayenne pepper (to taste) and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes, cover and cook for 2 minutes.

Uncover, stir, then cover again and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Uncover; cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are tender and translucent. Taste, and add salt as needed. Garnish with the minced or whole cilantro leaves. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 160 Fat 14 g

Sodium 400 mg Carbohydrates 10 g

Saturated fat 2 g Protein 2 g

Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

 

Spaghetti With Fresh Tomatoes and Cucumbers

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: This is a cool, refreshing summer pasta that’s good to serve a crowd. It calls for tomatoes that are very ripe; otherwise, you might need to let the no-cook sauce sit for more than an hour. Don’t be tempted to use an equivalent weight of plum or cherry tomatoes; they’re harder and won’t soften as well. From the Washington Post.

• 5 or 6 large, ripe tomatoes, cored, 3 to 3 1/2 lb. total (see Note)

• 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, or more as needed

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 1/2 medium red onion, minced

• 1 tsp. minced fresh oregano

• 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed

• 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed

• 1 large cucumber, peeled, cut lengthwise in quarters and seeded

• 1 lb. dried thin spaghetti

• 1 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

• About 12 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Directions

Cut the cored tomatoes in half horizontally. Gently squeeze the halves over a large bowl to release their liquid and seeds, then use a spoon to scrape out their insides; the goal is to remove the soft parts and leave a firm tomato “shell.” Add the oil, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, garlic, red onion, oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt and the teaspoon of pepper to the bowl, stirring to incorporate.

Cut the hollowed-out tomato halves into 1/2-inch dice, adding them to the bowl. Cut the cucumbers into 1/4-inch slices, adding them to the bowl. Toss to combine; let the mixture sit for 1 hour at room temperature. Taste it while the pasta is cooking (next step) and add more salt or pepper and/or balsamic vinegar; the mixture should be well seasoned.

About 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve, cook the pasta: Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of salt, then the pasta; cook according to the package directions. Use a heatproof liquid measuring cup to scoop out and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta, then add it to the tomato mixture along with the cheese and basil. Toss together, let it sit for 1 minute, then add some of the pasta cooking water if the mixture seems at all dry. Serve right away.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:

Calories 430 Fat 19 g

Sodium 340 mg Carbohydrates 51 g

Saturated fat 4 g Protein 14 g

Cholesterol 10 mg Dietary fiber 3 g sugar

 

Fried Green Tomato BLTs With Egg

Serves 2.

Note: A touch of brown sugar directly on the tomatoes is a key feature of this hearty breakfast sandwich. Balance is achieved with the addition of pickled red onion and a shortcut, mayonnaise-based pesto aioli. For this sandwich, a fried egg with a yolk that is not runny works best. Panko breadcrumbs are lighter and bigger than traditional breadcrumbs, which could be substituted. From the Washington Post.

For the pickled red onions

• 1/4 c. red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

• 1/4 c. granulated sugar

• 1/2 c. water

• 1/2 medium red onion, cut into very thin slices

For the aioli

• 1/4 c. regular or low-fat mayonnaise

• 2 tbsp. store-bought pesto (preferably basil)

For the tomatoes

• 2 medium green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-in. slices (about 14 oz. total)

• About 1 tbsp. light brown sugar

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 c. flour

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 1 c. plain panko breadcrumbs, or more as needed (see Note)

For assembly

• 4 slices thick-cut bacon

• 2 eggs

• 4 slices whole-grain or sourdough bread, toasted (may substitute English muffins, Italian bread or Texas toast)

• 1 handful arugula, watercress or spinach

Directions

For the pickled red onions: Combine the vinegar, granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Cool, then add the onions. Transfer to an airtight container; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (and up to 3 days).

For the aioli: Whisk together the mayonnaise and pesto in a medium bowl until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (and up to 3 days).

For the tomatoes: Arrange the tomato slices on paper towels. Sprinkle the tomato slices lightly with the light brown sugar and pepper.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels, then seat a wire cooling rack on top.

Place the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in separate shallow containers. Dip each tomato slice first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs, making sure the tomatoes are evenly coated on both sides. Place them on the rack to set while you fry the bacon.

For assembly: Fry the bacon in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet until crisped, starting in a cold pan placed on medium heat. Drain the bacon on paper towels; leave the rendered fat in the skillet.

Add the tomatoes; fry for a total of about 6 minutes, until golden brown and crisped on both sides, turning as needed. Return to the rack to drain.

Once all the tomato slices are done, fry the eggs in the same skillet, seasoning them lightly with salt and pepper. Cook (medium heat) just until the whites are set and slightly crisped at the edges, then turn them over and season on the second side; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or just long enough so the yolk is no longer runny. Transfer the eggs to a plate.

Line up the 4 slices of toasted bread. Slather the top of each slice with the aioli. Build the sandwiches on 2 of the slices by layering, in order, the greens, a slice of fried green tomato, bacon, another slice or two of fried green tomato, the fried egg and drained pickled red onions. Top with the remaining toasted, dressed slices of bread.

Cut in half, and serve right away.