Tis the Season! (For a Jersey Tomato Recipe ;)

Happy Monday, friends. I know, it’s the first day of the work week for many of us—me too—and it’s just easier to grumble. Given the current horror and/or terror show going on in too many parts of the world, I choose to be grateful for my ‘ordinary world’. (That would be ‘writer talk’ for a character’s starting place in any story: his/her normal, every day status quo, before something big happens to rock the boat and change that world forever.)

Looking forward to watching the final match of the US Open Tennis Championships later today. Sorry to not be seeing Roger Federer or Novak Djokavic there, but the tennis guards appear to be changing, one emerging champion at a time. We shall see.

School is underway. Spent this past weekend scrambling to get some cleaning done, school supplies purchased for kids, etc. I’m also working hard at keeping bigger projects manageable by working on them a little at a time.

Somehow, those smaller efforts do add up. I tend to make lists that are far too long anyway. They often end up missing, but (usually) I find them buried in a paper pile. More often than not, a lot of the items can be crossed off b/c I’ve gotten them done, frequently in bits and pieces. (It all counts, right?)

Anyway, four paragraphs later, here’s a super-easy salad recipe for those of us who LOVE summer fare. Tis the season for tomatoes—Hubby always grows a slew of them—so here’s a way to use them up.

20140827_083711(0) Just a sampling of Hubby’s garden fare. There are many more tomatoes coming, and the brussels are about to sprout.

You’ll need: tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, hummus, pesto, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sea salt. (BTW, the latter two ingredients are optional, but they really bring the flavors together.

Cut tomatoes and cucumbers into chunks, any size you like, and put in serving bowl. (You can remove seeds. I am too lazy to do so.)

Sprinkle feta cheese on. I use about a tablespoon or two for two medium tomatoes and one medium-sized (?) cucumber.

Add a tablespoon or so of hummus and/or pesto.

Stir.

(Optional) Drizzle with EVOO.

(Optional) Salt to taste with freshly ground sea salt.

tomato and cucumber salad The feta, pesto and hummus kind of blend together into a creamy dressing. (The EVOO and sea salt just bring it all together and make it decadent.) This fast, fresh, vegetarian combo is pretty danged healthy. It functions easily as a side or a main meal. If you need protein, like I do, add grilled chicken or tuna. (It’s also a ‘go-to’ dish almost daily until the tomatoes slow down. Trust me, we can only give away so many ‘Jersey tomatoes.’ Lots of folks in our areas grow them. 

So what is your go-to, summer veggie dish? Do you have a veggie garden? Have you been blessed fare made with Jersey tomatoes?

Have a wonderful day and week everyone!

Joanna

 

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The Lazy Potato

Welcome to Friday and to another installment of super-easy recipes!

For my son's and Nanny's birthdays--just liked the way this one looked :)
For my son’s and Nanny’s birthdays–just liked the way this one looked 🙂

This is probably nothing new, but it’s the delivery that wound up turning this take on home fries one of my favorites to make in a pinch!  Cut up a batch the other day, put ’em in the oven and went for my walk. (Hubby was home to make sure the house didn’t explode, lol.) By the time I got back, home fries were done!

Here’s what you’ll  need:

One med-lg Eastern or Idaho per person

Canola or olive oil (bottled or spray)

Sea salt/Pepper/Adobo/Garlic salt (any or all, depending on your taste)

Your sharpest knife. I love the old-fashioned Quikcut/Ginsu or this Sportsman from Ronco:

Quikcut is the top image. Sportman is on the bottom.
Quikcut is the top image. Sportman is on the bottom.

Here’s what to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (If you have a convection or convection-like option, you’ll want to activate it. Makes your finished product crispier!)

Wash/scrub each potato. (You will NOT be doing any peeling! :))

 

Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise to create potato slices. (Cut as thin or thick as you like, depending on your taste and how quickly you’d like potatoes to ready.)

Arrange potatoes IN A SINGLE LAYER on a (preferably perforated) pizza tin or cookie sheet. (See photo.) THIS IS THE KEY TO EASE!  YOU WON’T HAVE TO TURN THE SLICES ONCE THEY’RE IN THE OVEN!

Perforated pizza pan
Perforated pizza pan

Brush the potatoes with oil (or spray with cooking spray). If you’re really fancy and want more flavor, use an oil infused with a flavor you love–garlic, rosemary, oregano, etc.

Sprinkle with any/all of the seasonings listed above and feel free to add your faves: grated Parmesan cheese, oregano–even a little lemon rocks it.

Flip the slices and repeat the oil/seasoning process.

Place in the oven and let bake approximately 20 minutes (longer for thicker cut potatoes), to desired tenderness and/or crispness.

Remove from oven and start eating!

The finished product--uh...yum!
The finished product–uh…yum!

Tip: Place a cookie sheet lined with foil under the perforated pan. That will catch any oil that drips through and save you a lot of oven-cleaning time. I mean, what cook–lazy or not–wants to do that?!

So what are some of your standby super-quick and easy recipes? Feel free to share, or let me know and you can post your recipe here as a guest, along with some tidbits about yourself!

Have a great weekend!

Joanna