Category Archives: tomatoes

Tomato Tuesday: Gluten-free Tomato Tart

Today, July 24th, 2012, bloggers are donating their posts to the fight for slave-free tomatoes.  Check out participating bloggers here.   A special thanks to Nicole, of The Giving Table, for putting this call to action together!

This event was created by The Giving Table to support the International Justice Mission‘s summer campaign- Recipe for Change.  IMJ is a human rights agency committed to fighting modern day slavery and exploitation around the world.  Forced labor is happening on U.S. tomato fields.  Check out Tomatoland if you’d like an inside story (a great book!).

This summer, IMJ has partnered with The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and The Fair Food Standards Council to sponsor a campaign to raise awareness about the treatment of workers on U.S. tomato fields.  In addition, the campaign is asking CEO’s of large supermarket chains to endorse The Fair Food Program, ensuring that tomatoes sold in their stores are slave-free.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a community-based organization of migrant workers that advocates for rights of farmworkers in Immokalee, FL.  The program was developed to protect Florida’s tomato pickers from exploitation.  The corporations that join the Fair Food Program agree to pay a small price increase for harvested tomatoes (1.5 cents more per pound) and shift purchases to Florida tomato growers who abide by the higher standards.  The 3 supermarket chains targeted this summer are: Ahold (Giant, Peapod, Martin’s, Albert), Publix, and Kroger.

Where can you find slave-free tomatoes?
Farmer’s Markets (DC’s FreshFarm Markets)
Whole Foods
Trader Joe’s

Please join Evi and Sam in signing the petition- Recipe for Change Letter.

Gluten-Free Tomato Tart
Adapted from: Anja’s Food 4 Thought & Simply Whole Kitchen

The best tomatoes for this tart are the juiciest, and most colorful one’s.  Find a heirloom variety at your local farmer’s market and slice them.  If there are any leftover tomato slices, enjoy them with some fresh mozzarella, salt, pepper and olive oil!

3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
3 tbsp whole-grain oat flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz cold butter, cut into cubes
1 tbsp ice cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped

In a food processor combine buckwheat flour, almond flour, whole grain oat flour, and salt.  Once it’s mixed well, add in the butter and pulse under the mixture is crumbly.  Next, add in the water and egg.  Keep pulsing until the mixture turns into a ball (it might be a bit sticky).  Shape it into a disk, then wrap it with parchment paper, keep in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  With cooking spray, grease a 9-inch tart pan.

Roll out the dough, and press all of it into the tart pan.  Bake it for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool off for at least 20 minutes.

To make the filling, heat olive oil in a saute pan.  Once the olive oil is hot, add in the onion.  Cook it until it is translucent, then add in the garlic.  Stir in the onion, garlic and cheese in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Then pour the mixture into the cooled-off tart.  Arrange the tomato slices on top of the tart.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Bake the tart for 20 minutes, or until the cheese melts.  Allow to cool off before sprinkling basil over the top.  Divide into pieces, share with friends!

Want to learn more about this topic?  Check out some of these books and articles:
Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit (Barry Estabrook)
Join Michael Pollan in Ending Slavery of Tomato Workers
Did a Slave Grow Your Tomato?
Slavery in the Tomato Fields

Heat Wave: Shrimp Gazpacho

I’m not sure where everyone else is living, but here in DC we’ve had a couple of hot days.  The kind of hot that you just want to sit in an air conditioned room, eating and drinking cold foods.  I’ve got just the soup that will keep you cool when the heat wave gets to you!

I’ve mentioned previously that I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain.  While I was there over the summer, it was hot- so my señora made a gazpacho quite often to cool us down, and fill us up.  Although it wasn’t my favorite at first, I learned to love it and have eaten many bowls every since.  Check out other soups we’ve made that can be eaten cold: cucumber gazpacho, tomato soup with basil, and roasted vegetable soup.

Tomatoes are starting to pop up at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, so I’m taking advantage and buying some every week.  It’s really hard to resist all of the beautiful colors, and amazing taste!  The better tomatoes you use (ex: heirloom) the flavor will be more intense!

Need other meal ideas to keep you cool this summer?  Check these out: rum raisin ice cream, colorful slaw, tomatoes with basil & mozzarella, Sam’s summer pasta sauce, and the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market Summer Salad.

Shrimp Gazpacho
Fifth Floor Kitchen original
Serving: 4 large dinner (6 lunch/sides)

If you do have a grill in your home, I would utilize it and grill the veggies rather than roasting them in your oven (won’t get as hot!).  Also, feel free to change the number of each vegetable- if you prefer more corn, add it in, or don’t include it.  This is one of the reasons I love soups, so easy to change them to your taste!

5 tomatoes
3 corn on the cob
3 red bell peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
about 1 lb shrimp, peeled/cooked
2 tbsp chives, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

On a cookie sheet, spread out 3 tomatoes, corn on the cob (husks off) and the red bell peppers.  Once the oven is preheated, put the veggies into the oven for about 30 minutes.  Turn each of the vegetables over onto another side about every 10 minutes.  Once they are done, allow them to cool off.

Once everything has cooled, add the tomatoes to a food processor.  Then cut off an inch off of the point side of the corn, and set it down on a flat surface.  Grasp the stalk end holding it vertically over a cutting board, and carefully slice downward over the cob cutting off the kernels.  Then add the corn from 2 of the cobs into the food processor, add the other corn kernels to a big bowl.  Lastly, chop off the end of the pepper with the stem, and add the pepper to the food processor.  Processes all of the vegetables until they are pureed (to your liking of consistency), then pour everything into the big bowl with the corn kernels.

Chop the remaining 2 tomatoes and add them to the large bowl.

In a medium saucepan, heat up the olive oil.  Then add in the onion, allow it to cook until it is translucent.  Add in the garlic and carrots, cook for another 5 minutes.  Finally, add in the veggie broth, and allow to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Allow the broth mixture to cool, then add it to the food processor.  Puree it until the consistency is smooth.  Add the liquid to the big bowl filled with the other ingredients.  Sprinkle in the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, mix well.  Lastly, add in the shrimp.

Place in the fridge and allow it to cool for at least an hour (although, the colder the better).

Once you’re ready to serve, ladle out the soup into bowls and garnish with chives.

Food Matters Project #18: Tomato, Leek & Brie Tart

One of the things I love about the Food Matters Project is how you can adapt the recipes and make them your own.  This weeks focus was on tomatoes, but here in DC they are not yet in season.  So I pondered how we could make changes to the recipe (from other bloggers, and Pinterest!).

This weeks recipe was chosen by Nicole, from The Giving Table.  Nicole’s previous blog, Cooking After Five, was one of the first that I ever read.  Although Cooking After Five has been archived, she now focuses on The Giving Table and Eat This Poem.  She has a wonderful voice and inspiring recipes.  Most of all, she encourages her readers to stay informed on sustainable farming, healthy eating, food policy and hunger.  Finally, her beautiful pictures are not to be missed!

Nicole chose Mark Bittman’s recipe- Savory Tomato Crisp- from The Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out Nicole’s Savory Tomato Crisp, or all other bloggers posts here.

In this recipe Mark Bittman suggested to roast tomatoes, and then add a topping of bread crumbs, rolled oats and cheese.  I will definitely have to try this recipe, although it might have to wait a couple more weeks.  I still wanted to do something with tomatoes- we bought some greenhouse grown Farmer’s Market grape tomatoes.  So a tart became my inspiration, we could still have the baked tomato, along with some cheesey flavor.


Tomato, Leek & Brie Tart
Inspired from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 423) & SweetSugarBean

This recipe is great because you can add the vegetables that you want- so if there are no leeks or tomatoes around, add in what you have in your fridge.  This is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!

1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
½ stick of butter
2-3 tbsp cold water.

3/4 cup chopped Brie cheese
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped leeks
3 eggs
1 jalapeño, minced (optional)
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

Combine the flour, butter and salt in a food processor.  While it’s mixing the ingredients, slowly add water by the tablespoon.  Once it starts forming a ball, do not add any more water.  Place it in parchment paper and keep it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

When the dough is ready, roll it out on a floured surface.  Once it’s the size of your baking dish, place it gently inside.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Chop or break apart the brie cheese, sprinkle it onto the tart crust.

In a bowl mix together garlic, leeks, eggs, jalapeño, whipping cream, salt and pepper.  Once it’s all mixed together, pour over the brie cheese into the tart.  Sprinkle tomatoes on top.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top of the tart is lightly browned.

Peppers & Tomatoes

I’m sure many of you will be disappointed that there won’t be a recipe at the end of this post.  But I do have some gorgeous pictures of tomatoes and peppers from the Farmer’s Market, hopefully enticing you to buy some of summer’s best.

Instead, I’m posting a link to my friend Meaghin’s blog.  She lives in Brooklyn, New York and her posts always include beautiful pictures, and delicious recipes.  Mainly what I’d like to point out her blog post about tomatoes.

In her post she mentions the book Tomatoland, and discusses the tomato industry.  This is the same book which was mentioned in this post, which had this link to the NPR article.

All of us can eat any fruit or vegetable at any time throughout the year.  For example, if we would like cucumbers or peppers in December, there will always be some in the local grocery store.  The question all of us have to ask ourselves is whether produce will taste as delicious when you buy it out of season?  Tomatoland focuses on another factor we should take into consideration when purchasing out of season tomatoes (or other fruits and vegetables)- human welfare.  After reading Meaghin’s post, I’m even more intrigued about the book- I think it might have to be my next read!

Has anyone else read the book? 

Heat wave & tomatoes

Temperatures are soaring all over the US.  Tomorrow will be extremely hot in DC (100°F or more).  The humidity does not help.  And if you’ve been to DC in the summer before, you know how sticky it gets here.  So with the temperatures soaring, all of us are melting into puddles.  Non-cooking dishes do not only sound fantastic- they are essential for our survival.

What I do like about summer are tomatoes.  Especially tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market.  Have you ever really looked a tomato?  Up close?  Aren’t they beautiful?

And what do you do when you have delicious looking tomatoes and it’s hot outside?

Tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil.


I hope all of you go out and get some beautiful tomatoes, and enjoy them.  All you will need is:

tomatoes (depending on size about 1-3)
fresh mozzarella (2-3 small balls)
basil (5-10 leaves)
Salt & pepper

Cut the tomatoes into slices.  Arrange them nicely on a plate.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Chiffonade the basil, and sprinkle over the plate.  Lastly, slice the mozzarella, and place a piece on each tomato slice.  You can drizzle the dish with olive oil, but I preferred the earthy flavor of the tomatoes.  Serve and enjoy.  A fresh baguette and butter are a fantastic addition.

And to leave you with something more to read, rather than just looking at the delicious pictures, here’s an interesting article.  It discusses how the tomato flavor and production in the US has changed over the last 50 years.

How Industrial Farming ‘Destroyed’ the Tasty Tomato

Stay cool!