Springer's Kitchen

Vegetarian. High-Altitude. Mormon. Food.

Eggplant Pizzas

Ingredients:
1 medium to large globe eggplant
salt, for drawing water out of eggplant
olive oil, for brushing eggplant before roasting
dried Italian seasoning, for sprinkling on eggplant before roasting
10 large basil leaves, cut in chiffonade strips, or dried basil to taste
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup finely shredded mozzarella

Sauce Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 28-oz can good quality petite diced tomatoes with liquid (or use 3 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes)
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend
1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Instructions:

Cut off both ends of the eggplant; then cut it into 3/4 inch thick slices.  Put the eggplant pieces on a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle both sides generously with salt.  Let the eggplant sit with the salt on it for about 30 minutes to draw out the liquid.  (After the eggplant sits for 15 minutes, turn on the oven to 375F/190C.)

While the eggplant sits, make the sauce.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and saute the finely chopped garlic just until it becomes fragrant.  Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and oregano and let the sauce cook at a low simmer until it’s thickened, breaking up the tomatoes with a fork as it cooks.  (Add water as needed, a few tablespoons at a time as the sauce cooks, keeping it hot by simmering at very low heat until it’s needed for the eggplant slices.)

After 30 minutes, wipe the eggplant dry with paper towels (this also removes most of the salt.)  Spray a roasting sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray, lay eggplant slices on, brush the tops of the eggplant with olive oil, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Roast the eggplant about 25 minutes.

While the eggplant roasts, thinly slice the fresh basil leaves (if using) and combined freshly grated Parmesan and mozzarella.  After 25 minutes or when eggplant pieces are done, remove eggplant from the oven and turn oven setting to broil.  Spread a few tablespoons of sauce on the top of each eggplant slice, sprinkle with thin basil slices (if using) and top with a generous amount of cheese.  Put pizzas under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.  Serve hot.

From Recipe for Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizzas (Tranches d’aubergine á l’italienne) on Kalyn’s Kitchen.

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Gazpacho

I eat this for lunch all the time during the summer, with a piece of garlic bread on the side. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Large Cucumber, Diced
  • 5 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 whole Zucchini, Diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Diced, or celery salt to taste
  • 1 dash Salt To Taste
  • 1 quart Tomato Juice
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons White Sugar
  • 6 dashes Tabasco
  • 1 dash Black Pepper To Taste

 

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine the minced garlic with the cucumber, tomato, zucchini, celery if using, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, Tabasco, and salt.

Pulse until all ingredients are in small chunks, and the mixture has a nice speckled, colorful texture.  Pour into a large bowl and add the tomato juice.

Stir mixture together and check seasonings, adding salt if needed. Chill soup for at least a couple of hours; soup needs to be very cold!

Remove the soup from the fridge and stir. Check seasonings one last time. Ladle into a bowl and garnish with a sliver of fresh avocado, sour cream, and/or cilantro.

 

From Gazpacho by The Pioneer Woman.

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Tomato Tart

This is such a tasty way to use summer tomatoes from the garden.  Plus, it looks pretty and elegant and will impress your friends. 😉

Ingredients

  • Flour, for dusting work surface
  • 1 recipe basic flaky pie crust, or 1 (9-inch) ready-made refrigerated rolled pie crust
  • 3 large tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 8 ounces mozzarella, sliced or shredded
  • 1/4 cup chiffonade basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sprinkle flour on a work surface. Roll out pie dough to form a 10-inch circle and place on baking sheet. Overlap and alternate the different tomatoes and mozzarella slices in the center of the dough, leaving a 3-inch border. Scatter the basil leaves on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold the uncovered edges of the dough inward over the filling to create a pleated crust. Brush edges and top of pie with olive oil.

Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven to a cutting board. Slice and serve.

From Gina’s Summer Tomato Pie from FoodNetwork.com.

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Baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style

Tyson is not a squash fan, but even he likes this rendition.  And it is one of my favorites, too!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with a thin layer of cooking spray. Place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife can be easily inserted. Remove from oven, and cool.

Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Saute the onion until golden brown.  Add the garlic, and saute one minute more.  Stir in tomatoes, basil, bouillon cube, and black pepper.  Cook for about 15 minutes, or until you have a medium thick sauce.

Remove squash strands with a fork.  Grease a 8×12-inch baking dish.  Layer with half of the sauce, half of the spaghetti squash strands, and half of the cheese.  Repeat layers.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cheese melts.

 

From Baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style from AllRecipes.com.

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Zucchini &/or Eggplant Bruschetta Boats

You can use two of each, or four of either one.  Just note that this really only works with Chinese eggplant, which are long and thin.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Italian Dressing
  • 2 small each zucchini, ends trimmed
  • 2 small Chinese eggplant, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

Directions

Heat large pan over medium heat.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine tomatoes and 2 Tbsp. dressing.

Cut zucchini and eggplant lengthwise in half; brush with 2 Tbsp. of the remaining dressing.  Cook in pan, cut-sides up, 6 minutes.  Flip over and cook an additional 6 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Place cut-sides up on a baking sheet, and top cut sides with cheese.  Bake 2-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Gently mix basil into tomato mixture.  Spoon over vegetables, then cut them in half.

From Zucchini & Eggplant Bruschetta Boats by Kraft Recipes.

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Fresh Tomato Soup

What to do with all the tomatoes your plants keep producing?! Or, in my case, what to do with all the tomatoes my sweep and generous neighbors keep giving me??? I suggest this recipe, ideally served with grilled cheese.  It’s also great because you can make a few batches and freeze it. 🙂

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 3 cups diced onions
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water or chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar

 

Directions

Rough chop all the vegetables. It doesn’t matter what they look like because the soup will be blended later, but make sure the carrots, onions and celery are all about the same size so they cook at the same rate.

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add in the carrots, celery and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes, but don’t let the vegetables brown. Add in the tomatoes and water or chicken stock. Allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the carrots are soft.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Puree the soup, either with a stick blender or in batches in a conventional blender.  Once the soup is all pureed, push it through a sieve or strainer. The point is that you want to get out the tomato skins and seeds, but push through the rest of the vegetables. If you use too fine a mesh strainer, you will just end up with tomato juice. I lost about 2 cups of “solids”, mostly skin and seeds, during the straining process. (Note: If you prefer, you can skin and seed your tomatoes before making the soup. But this is time consuming and I found it just easier to strain.)

Put all the strained soup back in the pot and add the salt and sugar to taste.

To serve, reheat the soup. Garnish it with a dollop of homemade pesto, a bit of milk or cream to make a “bisque”, chopped tomatoes to make a chunky tomato soup, fresh grilled garden vegetables (corn, zucchini, yellow squash, etc), or even tiny meatballs.  The possibilities are endless. Use your imagination!

Freezes well for a few months.

From Homemade Fresh Tomato Soup by Former Chef.

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Creamy Vegetable Soup

Just over 10 years ago, I was served an amazing vegetable soup with cornbread on my mission.  I asked the sister for the recipe, and she gave me instructions over the phone.  Finally this summer I felt that I was competent enough in the kitchen that I could try decoding my decade-old hurried scribbles.  This is the result.

My favorite part?  My husband, who doesn’t like beans, loves this soup, and I love that he enjoys eating something healthy. 🙂  (P.S. It’s even vegan!)

Ingredients

  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans
  • olive oil
  • water
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 1 cup or so of fresh chopped zucchini &/or yellow squash
  • 1 cup small pasta of choice (I use shells)
  • handful of spinach leaves

Directions

In a blender or food processor, puree the beans with enough oil and water to make a smooth paste.  Set aside.

In a large pot, saute onion in oil until translucent (or beginning to caramelize, if you hate onions like I do).  Add garlic, carrot, and celery, and saute a few minutes more.  Add broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and green beans.  Bring to a boil.  Toss in kidney beans, zucchini, and pasta.  Boil until pasta is al dente.  Reduce heat, add spinach leaves, and simmer until wilted.  Stir in white bean puree and simmer until heated through.

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Curried Tofu in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder, divided
  • 1/4 cup roasted sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, optional

 

Directions

Cut tofu horizontally into two 3/4-inch thick slabs.  Press each between a towel to remove excess moisture.  Rub salt, and then 1 teaspoon of the curry powder, into the top and bottom of each slab.  Cut tofu into 3/4-inch chunks and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide skillet over medium heat.  Add tofu, and allow to brown on one side.  Carefully turn with a spatula, and cook until golden on most sides.  Remove with a slotted spoon, cover to keep warm, and set aside.

Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan, followed by garlic and ginger.  Cook until garlic turns pale gold, then add tomatoes, milk, and 1 teaspoon of curry powder.  Stir and cook several minutes, until tomatoes lose most of their moisture.  Stir in peas, then cover and cook until almost tender, about 3 minutes.

Scatter tofu over tomato mixture.  Cover and heat through, about 2 minutes.  Carefully stir in cilantro, if using.  Garnish with almonds and serve immediately with cooked rice or quinoa.

 

Adapted from Indian-Seasoned Tofu with Tomatoes from Sunflower Market.

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Millet-Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 8 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup millet
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Slice off about 1/2 inch of the stem end of the tomatoes and hollow out the inside.  If necessary, slice just a small section off of the bottom of the tomatoes, so that they will sit flat on a baking sheet. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of salt in the hollow portion of each tomato and place hollow side down on a baking sheet. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, stir the millet for 5 minutes or until the seeds turn golden brown and begin to pop in the pan. Remove from heat and add the stock, garlic and remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook over medium-low heat until the millet is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Pour the millet into a medium mixing bowl and add the goat cheese, olive oil, pine nuts, basil, parsley, chives, lemon zest and pepper.

Drain any liquid that has been released from the tomatoes; dry the sheet pan. Turn tomatoes so the hollow side faces up and roast the tomatoes in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until the skin begins to turn brown and slightly blister. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let cool slightly. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.

Evenly divide the filling among the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake in the oven until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Adapted slightly from Stuffed Tomatoes by Emeril Lagasse.

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Black Beans and Rice

In an attempt to follow the financial advice to live on “beans and rice and rice and beans,” we’ve added this tasty little recipe to our repertoire.  We like to have it with a large side of steamed broccoli.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked or canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • Grated Mexican-style cheese, sour cream, or cilantro for garnish

Directions

In a large skillet heat oil over medium high heat.  Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add spices, tomatoes, beans, and water and stir well.  Simmer mixture for 15-20 minutes or until it has thickened.   Serve hot over rice with various toppings.

Adapted from Beans and Rice by Cathy Lowe.

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