Quick & Easy|
By Beverly Barbour
Suddenly it's Labor Day
You just manage to fall in love with summer when it's over. You're left with only the generous fruits and vegetables that haven't seen a calendar and continue to produce until the frost comes. Here are tail end recipes to cherish.
This dish lives or dies with perfectly ripened tomatoes. Don't worry about the shape only the flavor matters.
6 medium fully ripened tomatoes
Preheat oven to 2500F. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds; remove and drain. Chill in cold water to stop the cooking. Slip the skins off and cut tomatoes in half, crosswise. Gently squeeze each half to remove seeds. Oil a 12-x8-inch baking dish and sprinkle with half of the garlic and thyme. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, in baking dish and baste with remaining oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle with remaining garlic, thyme and vinegar. Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours. When done, they will be soft and just starting to caramelize but still holding their shape. Spoon pan juices up over the tomatoes and serve from baking dish. Makes 6 servings.
SPICY CORN STEW
The fresher the corn the better but even frozen corn could be used.
5 to 8 ears fresh corn
Schuk corn and cut kernels off cobs. Reserve cobs and kernels separately. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add bacon and onion, cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes until onion is soft but not browned. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add garlic and jalapeno and boil until wine is reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Add chicken broth and corn cobs; simmer 30 minutes. Add kernels and cook 5 minutes. Remove and discard the corn cobs and bacon. Swirl remaining tablespoon butter into the corn. Add the cherry tomatoes, minced cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.
SWEET AND SOUR CARROTS
Best if chilled for at least 2 hours before serving so you can make this dish a day ahead, if you wish.
2 pounds carrots, peeled and boiled until tender
Cut cooked whole carrots into ½-inch rounds. Combine all vegetables and set aside. Combine vinegar and sugar in saucepan over low heat; cook 5 minutes to dissolve sugar. Add tomato puree, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the vegetables and stir to completely combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill. Makes 8 servings.
SUMMER SQUASH AND PEPPER PASTA
This dish is great as a lunch dish served with bread and fruit.
½ pound fusili pasta
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse. In a bowl toss pasta with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil; let cool. Heat 2 tablespoons oil and saute onions and garlic for 30 seconds. Add peppers and squash; continue to saute until crisp-tender. Toss vegetables with pasta, adding capers, basil and cheese. Whisk mustard with vinegar, sugar and pepper flakes. Toss with pasta and season with salt and pepper. You may wish to add a little more oil or a touch of vinegar. Let your tastebuds be your guide. Makes 4 to 5