Recipe Corner (8/6/09)

Tomato dishes

Aug. 6, 2009

By Ginger Isham

The tomato is native to South and Central America. It was once thought to be poisonous. It was discovered in 1519 growing in Montezuma’s garden by Cortez, who brought seeds back to Europe. A French botanist gave it a scientific name that translated to “wolfpeach” because it was round like a peach and believed to be poisonous; he confused the tomato with third century information about a kind of poison used to destroy wolves. The leaves of the tomato plant are poisonous.

In 1897, Joseph Campbell created condensed tomato soup. Before that, in 1872, Maria Parloa’s “The Appledore Cook Book” is credited with the first tomato recipe, called Tomato Chowder.

Tomato and Cheese Strata

10 slices white bread

4 tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

4 scallions (or chopped onion)

Grease an 8-inch baking dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 4 slices of bread in bottom of dish. Arrange 1/2 of tomatoes, cheese and scallions on top of bread slices. Next place 6 more slices of bread, overlapping, on top of this and add remaining tomatoes, cheese and scallions. Mix 2 cups milk, 4 eggs and pinch of salt and pour over bread and ingredients. Let set in fridge for several to 24 hours. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until golden colored and puffed.

Veggie Jambalaya

1 onion, chopped

1 cup each of celery, green peppers and mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon oil

Sauté all together in the oil and add:

3 cups fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped

2 cups water

1 cup long grain brown rice, uncooked

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon parsley

pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon each cayenne pepper, chili powder and black pepper

Mix well and pour into a 2-quart, oiled baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

Ginger Isham was the co-owner of Maple Grove Farm Bed & Breakfast in Williston, a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road where she still lives.