Store these tomatoes in a jar covered with olive oil, use a lemon olive oil if desired. For a quick appetizer see below.
1 pound Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon basil, chiffonade
1 teaspoon thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 350∫F. Arrange the tomato halves cut side up and close together on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, and herb. Drizzle over tomatoes and bake until the tomatoes are soft and shriveled but still retain some moisture, about one hour.
Let cool completely. Tomatoes can be stored in a glass jar, cover tomatoes with olive oil, seal and refrigerate.
For sauce: Process in a food processor and warm in a large saute pan.
For a quick appetizer, stuff roasted tomato halves with the following.
Mix together 1 log of goat cheese, 2 Tb. fresh chopped herbs and 1 -2 Tb. of heavy cream.
Mix until goat cheese is soft but not runny.
Spoon or pipe herbed goat cheese onto dried tomato, serve with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
The bright star of the season, Meyer Lemons are the sweetest lemons to use in cooking. Thin-skinned, juicy and brightly colored you can use every part of the lemon, well, except maybe the seeds! In season now you can find them in all markets and at your local farmers market. If you have your own tree about now you might be wondering what to do with all those lemons. If you have trouble finding them you can call our friends at Melissa’s Produce and they can fill up your pantry!
Below you’ll find a few of my favorite recipes.
How to choose, store and use beautiful Meyer Lemons
Meyer Lemon Season (Commercial) Nov-May
Home Tree will fruit late Summer-April/May
Choose, Store and Use Meyer Lemons:
Pick lemons that have a smooth, yellow skin with no signs of bruises or cuts. Lemons that are heavy will have more juice in them; unfortunately, Meyer lemons also contain many seeds. Easily seeded if cut in half, most of the seeds are centered in the middle of the fruit.
Store lemons in a bowl on the counter in a cool place with no direct contact with the sun. If the lemons begin to become soft, refrigerate and use within a few days. If using refrigerated lemons, let them come to room temperature if possible. Roll all lemons around on the counter to help free up the juice.
Extra lemon juice can be poured into ice cube trays, frozen and then placed into a freezer bag and used within 6 months.
Meyer lemon trees grow well in pots in So. California, use a fast draining soil. They are hungry fellows so feed with an organic citrus fertilizer according to directions. They love the So. California sunshine but not so much our sometimes-windy weather. Meyer lemons like to be moist but not wet, deep infrequent watering and don’t let water sit in the liner or pot. If the weather threatens to freeze, water well and cover with a blanket or row cover at night, be very careful not to know off the fruit or flowers on the tree. Feed with an organic citrus food as directed and keep a close watch for citrus pests. Fruit will hold a long time on the tree, make sure they are nice and yellow before picking and after fruiting a little light pruning, if necessary will keep them compact and tidy.
Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker
How to Make Mashed Potatoes!
1 medium organic* russet potato person
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 -2 tablespoons butter, REAL BUTTER, unsalted
1/2 cup milk (cream if you want to be decadent, or mix the two)
Sea Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon sour cream, optional
1 teaspoon chives, optional
1 tablespoon grated cheese, optional
Wash potatoes and then cut into large chunks, place into a large saucepan and cover with cool water. Add a tablespoon of Kosher salt, bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
Heat the butter with the milk (I use the microwave). If you use the microwave wait to heat until the potatoes are cooked. Drain the potatoes and peel the skin off with tongs. For creamy soft mashed potatoes slip through a ricer into the still hot saucepan that you cooked them in (without any water!) If you don’t have a ricer just put the chunks back into the pan, place on the stove over low heat for a minute or two. This helps to dry them a little further so they absorb the butter and milk more evenly.
Add enough butter and milk (or cream) to the potatoes and lightly mashed with a potato masher, they should come together easily. Don’t overwork the potatoes or they can turn gummy. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and add any optional ingredients, serve.
If you’re making potatoes for a crowd they can be made about 1 hour ahead of time and kept warm on low in a preheated slow cooker! (I don’t remember where I learned that trick but thank you to whoever it was that shared it)
*Organic potatoes, all kinds of pesticides and sprays are used on conventional potatoes to keep bugs from eating them while they grow. Then to harvest them and finally to keep them from sprouting in the store. Choose organic for your health.
- 4 pounds mixed apples, choose a variety of sweet apples, wash, peel, core chopped into chunks.
- Apple Juice, real apple juice not concentrate or white grape juice (read the label)
- Sugar (only if your apples aren’t very sweet)
- Place the chopped apples into a large saucepan and add about 1” of apple juice. Cook until the apples are soft and tender. If there is excess liquid after cooking the apples you can drain this off and save to drink as ‘juice’, that’s exactly what it is.
- Mash the apples with a potato masher or put through a food mill. You could also use a food processor or blender. Add cinnamon to taste and sugar if needed. Keep hot or cool and store in refrigerator for a week. That’s it!