Monday, September 13, 2010

End of the Summer Salad

Well, it seems, weather wise, summer never really came....I'm actually expecting Summer to come in Oct. and Nov., somehow visualizing a Thanksgiving heatwave. But for now, it never got hot enough for a killer tomato season, and as I mentioned previously, the fruit left much to be desired.

But, I do have a freezer, semi, full of tomato soup and sauce, and it's not quite over yet, but Wayne's garden is out of stock! Wayne and his wife Carolyn have numerous fig trees that I'm still waiting word on, but no more $1.50 a pound, vine riped, home grown tomatoes. I'll have to settle for second best, in my book, and that is the farmers market. Still up to $3.50lb and lucky for me I can still afford to buy 10+ lbs for that extra stock of soup, and I will not rest until it's safely tucked away for a rainy day.

I've got 3 tomatoes left and 2 of them ended up in my "end of summer" salad. A mix of 3 or 4 left over olives, and 1/2 doz. hard boiled quail eggs started the inspriation. I think I only added some greens, red vinegar, about 1/2 t. sugar, and the olive oil the olives were brined in....whoops, I forgot the last of the summer corn.

Here's the thing I love about hard boiled quail eggs....because of the size and shape, somehow, the yolks stay surrounded by their whites, even after you toss the salad...weird? I did end up shopping at a larger Vietnemese market where the quail eggs had an expiration date, and I feel much better. I also decided to continue to buy my little frozen, individual size, frozen quail in the same market. $6.99 for six as opposed to $14.99 for four....I had to get over it. Unlike an expensive pair of shoes, I didn't feel all that much better with the "designer" Whole Foods quail.

PS I felt like a kid in a candy store, literally, shopping at this larger Vietnemese market. My favorite thing, besides fresh quail eggs? Dried, candied cherry tomatoes! OM freakin' G. I love, love, love, dried fruit of any kind, and these sweet little gems have been on my mind..... I still have half of a pkg, but I know it's a seasonal thing and I've got to get my ass over there again soon for more (pictures to come)


Diana said...

How do you make tomato sauce out of fresh tomatoes?
Yes, this is a real question! I'm quite stupid in this category. I have so many tomatoes from people, I'd love to make a shit load of sauce to freeze.

Tracy Reifkind said...


The only thing easier than tomato sauce is tomato, sauce is easier!

The hardest part of either one is having to put the cooked tomatoes through a foodmill to remove skins and seeds...not hard, just a bit time consuming (like 10 extra minutes,lol).

Basically, you cut up all of your tomatoes in 1/4ths, throw them in a big pot and turn on the heat! As the pan and then tomatoes heat up you have to stir them to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. The tomatoes break down into soup qickly, and then it's just a matter of cooking time. 20 min. for soup, 45 min. for sauce...but it ain't over yet....

This is where you pass the tomatoes through the foodmill. If you are making soup, season it with salt, pepper and sugar...yep, sugar! Only if the sauce is too acidy, then add some sugar, 1 t. at a time, until the "tomato" flavor shines through.

If you are going on to make sauce, then the sauce has to be thick, so after the foodmill, back on the stovetop, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for another 45 minutes until desired thickness, and then adjust seasoning. (s & p & sug.)

That is the most basic of basic!

Of course MY basic soup and sauce includes onion, celery and carrot, some fresh oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes...and? Ta da, jalapeno! All these extra veggies and herbs are sauteed in the pot, at the beginning before adding all of the tomatoes, and then everything is passed through the food mill together.

I wrote a blogpost about making tomato soup last year or the year before.

Diana said...

Love the part at the end.....all those "bonus" ingredients!
Thanks, now to find out what the hell a "foodmill" is!

Tracy Reifkind said...


here's the link to my blogpost with more details on how to make tomato soup (like you need them, lol)

I use a Cuisipro foodmill, the cost is about $35. I think it's worth having because once you taste your own tomato soup you'll be so proud! Besides a nice big buffalo burger alongside would be yummy!

OR....ask around, I'll bet you'd be surprised at how many of your friends (or friends' mothers) already own one they never use, and borrow it!