My tomatoes have been a long time in coming, but now that they’re finally ripening I’m bringing them in by the bowlful. I love it! My garden has been doing so much better this year. And, this late summer weather is so much better then the early frost we got last year.
We have no problem eating fresh tomatoes all day long with every meal, but I’ve had my eyes peeled for interesting and new ways to enjoy this treasured fruit. When I saw this recipe for charred tomatoes with fried eggs on garlic toast I knew it was the perfect thing to make to celebrate the end of summer. The fresh yet cozy flavours are the perfect meal to bridge the gap between summer and fall. It’s a quick gourmet breakfast, light lunch or dinner and best enjoyed while tomatoes are still at their juicy, sweet best.
Charred Tomatoes with Fried Eggs on Garlic Toast
- 4 slices rustic bread, toasted
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 4 large eggs
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 small tomatoes, such as cocktail or Campari, halved
Rub toasted bread with cut side of garlic and brush with oil. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat. Crack eggs into skillet and cook, undisturbed, until whites are set, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.
Increase heat to medium-high. Brush cut sides of tomatoes with oil. Sear, cut sides down and undisturbed, until charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer 2 tomato halves to each piece of toast with a spatula and lightly mash. Season with salt and pepper and top with fried eggs.
Makes: 4 servings
This recipe is courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, September 2013.
After all my whining and complaining about not being able to grill this year, my parents ended up bringing us an old barbecue when they came to visit. They really shouldn’t have. Now how will I ever learn that complaining doesn’t get you anywhere? That would never have worked when I was younger. But maybe I have a little more pull now? Hmm… ;)
But really, guys. I am so excited! (And, thankful!) We’ve been grilling up a storm ever since. And it came in so handy on the scorcher of a week we had last week, especially when the power went out and we used the grill to cook our entire meal. It’s amazing what you can all cook in foil packets.
This grilled caprese chicken was one of my favourite summer meals last year. I’m sorry I didn’t share it with you sooner. I was too busy eating it. Grilled chicken gets topped with charred summer tomatoes, drizzled with a basil vinaigrette, then topped with marinated fresh mozzarella and set aside until the mozzarella is melted and gooey. It tastes so fresh and summery and yet is so comforting at the same time. It’s also super quick to make so you can end your work day in true summer fashion – with a relaxed grilled dinner on the patio. Cheers!
Grilled Caprese Smothered Chicken
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4 inch slices and patted dry
- 4 small or 2 large chicken breasts, flattened to an even thickness or sliced in half lengthwise
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 large tomatoes cut into 1/2 inch slices
Mix together basil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking as you go, until fully combined. Remove 3 tablespoons vinaigrette to a medium sized bowl, toss with mozzarella. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook on a hot grill, along with tomatoes, until chicken is cooked through and tomatoes are lightly charred on both sides. Transfer chicken to a platter, top with tomatoes, drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and top with marinated mozzarella. Cover with foil and set aside for 10 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted. If the cheese isn’t melting to your liking you can place this in a slightly warm oven to help the process along.
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, originally from Cook’s Country, Aug/Sept 2011.
I’ve struggled with knowing how to write this post. It’s hard to just act as if nothing has happened when such tragedy has hit so close to home. It’s impossible to ignore and my heart is broken.
I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about how Oslo was shaken by the violent attacks last Friday so I won’t go into detail here. If needed, a quick search of cnn.com will get you all the information you want.
I don’t like giving a platform to extremists who perform such horrible acts by talking about them too much. But at the same time I feel that we need to remember those who are hurting. We need to pray for those who are grieving; for those who survived the horror that will not so easily be forgotten.
Those of us who haven’t been personally affected have the privilege of moving on from the tragedy much faster. I can’t imagine the hardship and sorrows yet to come for others who are not so lucky. My heart goes out to them, they are often in my thoughts and prayers.
Please pray for some measure of comfort for them.
It’s hard to pick up and talk nonchalantly about food in a time like this so I will be brief. This stew is quick to prepare, comforting on a rainy day, with the flavours of summer cooked in one pot until creamy and flavourful. If you crave a little bit of comfort on a warm and rainy day, this stew will help, even if just a little.
Summer Chicken Stew
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 500g baby new potatoes, halved
- 200g spreadable cream cheese (about 3/4 cup)
- 200g sweetcorn (frozen, fresh or from a can)
- 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
Season chicken with salt and pepper; coat with flour. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook chicken on both sides just until browned. Remove from pot and set aside.
Cook bacon in the same pot until crisp. Drain off excess fat. Stir in broth, browned chicken and potatoes. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
Stir in cream cheese, corn and tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes until corn is cooked and cream cheese is melted.
Adapted from Good Food.
I’m not a great salad person. I love salads, don’t get me wrong, but I seem to enjoy them more as a main dish because you can add things like grilled chicken and black beans. Most of the time they fall flat as a side dish for me since I seem to have absolutely no creativity when it comes to vegetables. (Fruity salads on the other hand don’t seem to be a problem.) One of my goals is to try to find more side-salads to add to my repertoire. So, if you know any good ones feel free to shout them out!
We’ve been making this salad since last year. It started out as just a cucumber and tomato salad since the guys love cucumber. Then we made a few more additions and turned it into a favourite. So much so that it’s pretty much the only salad we eat. And so far we haven’t gotten tired of it (that’s saying a lot).
I wasn’t sure what to call this salad. It’s pretty reminiscent of a greek salad but it tastes nothing like it since it’s coated in ranch dressing rather than a greek vinaigrette. It goes great with pretty much any main dish or grilled meat and it takes advantage of those plentiful summer cucumbers and tomatoes.
One thing I have learned is that the key to a tasty salad is seasoning the vegetables with salt and pepper before dressing. This seriously makes all the difference and I strongly encourage you to try it in all your savoury salads.
What’s your go-to salad at dinnertime?
Chunky Cucumber Salad
Feel free to adjust the amounts to your taste. I always just toss things in until it looks good, so this is an estimation of the amounts you use. Do what’s best for you.
- 1 english cucumber, quartered and chopped
- 1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup (heaping) olives, sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 cup chopped feta
- 1 cup croutons
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
- Place cucumbers and tomatoes in a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add olives, feta, croutons and dressing. Toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Feeding a crowd? To make this salad stretch further add a head of chopped romaine lettuce.