Two Summer Tomato Recipes

Tomato, Peach, and Avocado BruschettaThe Ripe Time
Thanks to the recent hot weather, last night we ate the first garden fresh tomatoes of the season. There really is nothing like home grown tomatoes. Of course by the end of the summer I’ll be giving them to anyone and everyone who happens by—but at this point I am savoring the sweetness.

When our tomatoes start to ripen to the tune of one or two a day, I look for recipes that use them fresh, without much alteration. I want to taste the tomatoes, not hide their flavor under a heavy sauce or dressing.

More often than not, I will make some kind of bruschetta or open faced tomato sandwich. They are easy, and perfect for lunch or a light dinner. Add a little sliced fresh mozzarella and/or Prosciutto and you’re good to go. You could even add some good quality tuna in olive oil and some sliced hard boiled egg…whatever suits your fancy.

I found these two recipes on my new favorite blog, Love And Lemons. The first is a Tomato, Peach, and Avocado Bruschetta — tomatoes are at their best right now. The combined flavors are amazing.

The Eggplant and Squash Tian caught my eye because as the tomatoes are ripening, so are the summer squashes and zucchini. This is a great way to use both. I’m on the fence about the eggplant. Not one of my favorites but feel free to take the risk!

Tomato, Peach, and Avocado Bruschetta
Adapted from Love and Lemons

1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
drizzle of olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
drizzle of white balsamic vinegar
2-4 peaches, cut into small pieces
1 avocado, diced
chopped basil and/or mint
generous amounts of salt & pepper
about 4 – 6 slices of bread

Put the olive oil, white balsamic, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a jar and shake to mix.

Toss the tomatoes slices in a small bowl, add the dressing, peaches, avocado, basil and mint and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as needed.Toast slices of bread and pile everything on top. Drizzle with more olive oil and serve immediately.

Toast slices of bread and pile everything on top. Drizzle with more olive oil and serve immediately.

Eggplant and Squash Tian
Adapted from Love and Lemons

If you want to try this recipe my way (because you, too, think eggplant is gross), omit the eggplant entirely and increase the proportion of squash and tomatoes. Then skip the second step involving the eggplant preparation.

1 large eggplant
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
4 medium tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for the pan)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 eggs
1 cup cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
leaves from 2 sprigs fresh basil, chopped
2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. In batches, add the eggplant slices and cook, flipping once, until both sides are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Oil a large baking dish or tian. Make a pinwheel pattern of the eggplant, zucchini, summer squash and tomato slices, layering in the onions and garlic, until all the vegetables are used.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, parmesan, basil and red pepper, season with salt and pepper, and pour into the baking dish. Bake the tian until the vegetables are tender, the custard is set, and the top is nicely browned, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve right from the baking dish.

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