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Posts tagged 'tomatoes'

Italian Parsley Salad

Italian Parsley Salad

I found a version of this recipe on the inside of a matchbook, in a shoebox labeled “think outside the box," a collection of ideas and inspiration that had been growing over the years. It hadn't occurred to me to use parsley as a salad green until I came across this recipe, and boy am I glad I did. It makes a great partner for the red onion and capers, with some tomatoes thrown in for freshness. So simple, yet so delicious.

Italian Parsley Salad

Turn this salad into a meal by serving it atop thick slices of grilled whole grain bread.

Serves 4

  • 2 cups lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 small red onion, halved, 1/2 thinly sliced lengthwise (reserve other half)
  • 4 Italian plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise ⅛ inch thick
  • ¼ cup small capers, drained
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, toss together parsley, basil, red onion, sliced tomatoes, capers and red pepper flakes. Add olive oil and lemon juice, and toss until evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with grilled bread.

vegetarian  vegan  tomatoes  red onion  parsley


Israeli Salad with Tofu "Feta"


Here’s an easy, vegan main course salad that gets its protein from tofu (crumbled to look like feta). It’s a great summer-into-fall dish combining tomatoes and bell peppers with cucumbers, olives and a good amount of parsley.

Israeli Salad with Tofu "Feta"

The tofu “feta” is simply tofu that has been pressed to remove excess liquid, then crumbled and marinated. It’s a great way to get your cheese “fix” without actually using cheese!

Tofu “Feta”

Yields 1 cup

  • 8 ounces firm tofu
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon each dried basil, thyme, oregano (or use Italian seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut tofu crosswise into ½ inch thick pieces. Place pieces on a triple thick bed of paper towels. Place another triple thick layer of towels on top. Place a small saucepan on top to help press out the moisture. Press tofu for at least an hour.

Combine lemon juice, dried herbs, salt, and pepper in a non reactive bowl. Gently crumble tofu into marinade in ½ inch pieces. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Israeli Salad

Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise, each piece quartered again
  • 1 english cucumber, outer skin peeled intermittently in ½-inch strips, halved lengthwise, and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 small red onion peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 each orange and yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 cup loosely packed chopped Italian parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup crumbled tofu “feta” (see above recipe)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, bell peppers, olives and parsley in large bowl. Toss to combine. Sprinkle lemon juice on top then drizzle with oil; toss again.

Add the “feta” to salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

tomatoes  red onion  feta  cucumber  bell pepper


Quick Gazpacho/Salsa/Salad


We all find comfort in recipes, but have to accept the fact that any particular recipe is unique to the individual who put pen to paper. It's the development of skill and technique that builds confidence, not the final dish. Instead, embrace the process. Block some time to shop, prepare, crank the tunes, even take a break to go for a quick run. It is not the result that will be fulfilling it is the fact that you ventured on a path with destination unknown.

Quick Gazpacho Salad

Inspired by the classic soup, this salad combines cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes and red onion. Because they are all finely chopped, the recipe is a kind of lesson in process--but you can always pull out the food processor if you're in a hurry.

Serves 4

  • 1 english cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 6 plum tomatoes or 4 beefsteak tomatoes, seeded
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 to 4 cups V-8 or tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped basil

Chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1/2-inch cubes.

Combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, juice, vinegar, olive oil, cilantro, basil, salt and pepper.

Stir well and refrigerate to two hours, giving the salad time to chill thoroughly and for the flavors to "marry". 

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

tomatoes  red onion  cucumbers  bell peppers


Grilled Polenta with slow Roasted Tomato, White Beans, and flat Italian Parsley


The first staff meal ever assigned to me was polenta, and I was fearless. "Hey Chef, why don't you take it easy, I've got it covered".

First batch, nope, Second batch, harder than Chinese algebra. Third batch, too salty. Fourth batch, texture like stucco but without the flavor.

No fifth batch. Caesar salad for the staff, big slice of humble pie by for myself.

But it's really not that hard. I've blogged about how I like to do it before, and I'm covering it again here, since it's a skill well worth having. I guarantee you'll get it right the first time.

Grilled Polenta with Slow-roasted Tomatoes, White Beans and Parsley

The roasted tomatoes can be made a week ahead and refrigerated.

Serves 4

  • 6 Italian plum tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning or Herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup cornmeal 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup canned rinsed cannellini beans (white navy)
  • 4 sprigs Italian parsley
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and toss with herbs and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet and roast for 3 hours. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Bring 4 cups of water and salt to a boil, lower to a simmer, and add the cornmeal in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Slowly stir with a spatula, then cook over low heat until tender. Transfer to an oiled baking dish and spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Cut polenta into 2-inch squares; cut squares in half, forming triangles. Pat dry with paper towels. Lightly oil polenta and place on a hot grill or hot saute pan. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until GBD (golden, brown and delicious)

Shingle polenta on serving platter and scatter tomatoes, beans, parsley, and pepper flakes on top. Drizzle with olive oil.

white beans  tomatoes  polenta  parsley  cornmeal


“It seems more common than not that there is a disconnect between the information the medical profession provides, and the realities of shopping, preparing, cooking, and actually enjoying a meal based on a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle. I will show others how to bridge that gap."