The Edwards Agency

Home & Garden

Dining In: Cure for tomato troubles?

recipes The Altrista Consumer Products Company provides the following tips to help you make delicious use of every last tomato in your garden:
   Before the hard frost sets in, rescue the reddest tomatoes from the vine. Keep them at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, to ripen further. To hasten the process, place the tomatoes in a paper bag with a banana. The banana releases a gas that speeds ripening.
   Save the greenest tomatoes for several weeks by leaving them on the vine. Pull up the plants, tomatoes and all, and hang them upside down inside a paper bag. The garage is an ideal place to store green tomatoes. At temperatures under 55 degrees, they'll stay green without spoiling.

Pickled Green Tomatoes
   6 lbs. green tomatoes (about 8 medium)
   1 lb. pickling onions
   1/4 c. canning salt
   5 c. vinegar, 5% acidity
   4 c. water
   1 tsp. peppercorns
   1 tsp. whole allspice
   1 tsp. whole cloves
   2 sticks cinnamon, broken
   1/2 tsp. mustard seed
   1/2 tsp. celery seed
   Prepare home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions. Wash and core tomatoes; cut into quarters. Peel onions. Combine salt, vinegar, and water in a large saucepan. Tie spices in a spice bag and add to vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
   Add tomatoes and onions to vinegar mixture; simmer 10 minutes. Remove spice bag. Pack hot tomatoes and onions into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.
   Ladle hot pickling liquid over tomatoes, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Remove air bubbles with a non-metallic utensil Adjust 2-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Makes about 7 pints.

Cheese and Vegetable Strudel
   2 red bell peppers
   1/2 c. heavy cream
   18 sheets Phyllo dough
   1 oz. olive oil
   8 oz. fresh spinach
   8 oz. each summer squash, zucchini, carrot (all julienned)
   8 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese
   1 tsp. each fresh chopped parsley, chives, chervil leaf
   1 tsp. tarragon leaf
   1/2 tsp. salt
   To prepare the red pepper sauce: roast, peel, and seed the peppers. Puree the peppers and cream until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
   To prepare each serving, layer 6 Phyllo sheets, brushing lightly with olive oil between each. Cut the dough in half to create two squares; keep one covered.
   On each square, place 2 layers of fresh spinach leaves and 1 1/2 ounce of each of the following: summer squash, zucchini, carrot, and Mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and salt. Fold in the ends of the dough approximately one inch and roll like a burrito.
   Bake at 350 degrees until brown and the cheese is melted. To serve, cut the roll on a bias and place on top of 2 ounces of the red pepper puree. Makes 6 servings.

Winter Root Vegetables with Pine Nuts
   1 lb. onions
   1 lb. carrots
   1/2 lb. parsnips
   1/2 lb. turnips
   3 Tbsp. margarine or butter
   1/2 c. pine nuts
   1 tsp. minced garlic
   6 sedges fresh lemon
   1 Tbsp. fresh finely chopped parsley
   Trim and peel onions; cut into thick wedges. Pare, trim, and cut carrots and parsnips into thick diagonal slices. Scrub, trim, and cube turnips.
   Microwave method: Combine onions, carrots, and turnips with 1/2 cup water in 3 to 3 1/2 quart microwaveable safe baking dish. Cover and cook in the microwave on high power for 8 minutes. Add parsnips; stir, then cook 13 minutes longer, stirring once, or until all vegetables are fork tender.
   Meanwhile, sauté pine nuts in margarine for 1 minute, add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Serve drained vegetables with strip of toasted pine nuts on top, squeeze lemon juice over, and sprinkle with parsley.
   Conventional Method: Combine all vegetables, except parsnips, in top of steamer. Place over boiling water, cover tightly, and steam 16 minutes.
   Add parsnips to steamer, cover and steam 16 minutes longer or until tender. Drain. Turn into vegetable dish and serve with a strip of toasted pine nuts on top. Squeeze lemon juice over and sprinkle with parsley. Makes 6-8 servings.

Pan-roasted Carrots
   2 lbs. fresh carrots (9 medium to medium-large)
   2 Tbsp. olive oil
   Freshly ground black pepper
   1/2 c. chopped onion
   1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
   1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves or fresh dill
   1 juice of an orange, cut into wedges
   Trim and pare carrots. With large carrots, cut off 4 to 6 inches of narrow end of each, then cut wider end lengthwise in half. With small carrots, leave them whole or cut crosswise in half.
   Heat oil on high in large (12-13 inch) skillet, place carrots closely together in pan in single layer. Sprinkle with onion; grind pepper over. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, turning once halfway through for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Liquid should be evaporated, and carrots beginning to caramelize at the end of cooking time.
   Sprinkle with herbs. Squeeze 3 or 4 wedges of orange over. Toss well and serve hot with remaining orange wedges on the side. Makes 6 servings.

Squash with Sour Cream and Dill
   2 lbs. (or more) summer squash
   1 tsp. salt
   2 tsp. vinegar
   3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
   3-4 Tbsp. flour
   1/2 c. sour cream (or reduced fat)
   1 Tbsp. dill weed
   1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
   Wash and remove stem and blossom end of young yellow squash. Grate coarsely into a saucepan. Add onion and enough water to cover. Add salt and boil gently about 5 to 8 minutes. Add vinegar and cook 5 minutes more or until fork tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Meanwhile, melt butter; add flour. Stir until smooth, but do not brown.
   Add sour cream and about 1/2 to 1 cup of the reserved liquid. Add dill weed. Cook and stir, over medium heat, until smooth and thickened. Add drained squash and heat thoroughly. Add more salt and dill if desired. This can be made ahead and reheated.