Chef Secrets: Tomatoes!

Stewed tomatoes, bruschetta and a homemade tomato sauce!

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – We’re in the peak of tomato season! Personal Chef Bill Collins from showed us three delicious ways to use this summer fruit!

Stewed Tomatoes

6 large tomatoes, peeled and quartered
2 celery stalks, minced
1 small onions, minced
¼ red pepper, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons sugar or agave
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, over a medium heat, add the tomatoes, celery, onion, pepper, and sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes
Add the dried basil, and simmer for 5-10 more minutes, or until all of the vegetables have been cooked through
Season to taste with salt and pepper

Tomato Bruschetta

½ loaf of French bread, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
5-6 plum (or other) tomatoes
1/4 cup (approximately) basil leaves, cleaned and sliced
3 scallions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400º.
For the toast/crostini
Combine ¼ cup olive oil, 3 of the minced garlic cloves, ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) black pepper. Brush this onto the sliced bread.
Bake this in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until golden.
This can be done up to 2 days ahead
Cut the green stem-end off of the tomatoes, and discard.
Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, approximately ¼ inch cubes. Combine all of the remaining ingredients, including 1 tablespoon olive oil, with the tomatoes. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto the toast. If desired, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Fresh Tomato Sauce with Saffron and White Wine

1/8 teaspoon saffron
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
¼ cup (approximately) white wine
8 leaves fresh basil, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Soak the saffron in 2 tablespoons warm water, and set aside
In a large saucepan, heated over a medium heat, add the olive oil and garlic. Sautee for 20-30 seconds, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
When the tomatoes start to simmer, add the wine and saffron (including the water the saffron has been soaking in). Simmer, uncovered, for 15-25 mins. If you find that all of the liquid has evaporated, add more white wine to keep the mixture from being too dry
Add the basil, and simmer for no more than 5-10 minutes.
Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta

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