In my garden, the tomatoes are still producing strong! I planted heritage varieties of Chadwick Cherry tomatoes, a sweet, plump, slightly larger cherry tomato size than the norm, as well as Black Seaman tomatoes, a large, bigger-than-your-hand, dark red-purple tomato. I found these tomatoes had trouble ripening evenly, with lots of cracking with our summer drought, and a few rotted on the vine before I could get to them. Even though I didn’t prune or stake them sufficiently, they were/are both highly prolific and the ones I did gobble down were meaty and delicious!
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Now I’ve seen many recipes marrying tomatoes and strawberries in various ways but I haven’t tried any, until now. This Tomato, Strawberry and Basil Sorbet comes from a cookbook called The Best Homemade Vegan Cheese & Ice Cream Recipes by Marie Laforêt, and it has galvanized me to make use of my garden tomatoes in a new and special way. I love trying new flavour combinations and of course it doesn’t hurt that it’s still pretty hot around here (with temperatures in the low and mid-30s for a good part of the summer).
This flavoursome two-fruit sorbet (tomatoes are, of course, also a fruit!) offers floral notes from the fruit, basil and vanilla. Tomatoes and basil are a classic match and I can see why tomatoes + strawberries are fast becoming a favourite themselves.
I recommend using organic and preferably local strawberries and tomatoes in this recipe for best freshness and flavour and because both appear on the Environmental Working Group’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Strawberries rank #1, while tomatoes rank #9 and cherry tomatoes rank #11. It is always worth seeking out organic versions as much as possible when it comes to these two crops.
This recipe includes a short list of ingredients and as a sorbet, it is also dairy-free. If you avoid cane sugar, you can also easily substitute for another sweetener of your choice. I tested this with maple syrup (in an amount slightly less than the recipe called for), but coconut sugar (for vegans) or honey (for non-vegans) are a few other options you might enjoy. A few notes: I would use less sweetener if you are using cherry tomatoes and if you want a very smooth sorbet, I recommend pureeing everything after step 1.
One thing to note is that this Tomato, Strawberry and Basil Sorbet recipe calls for peeled tomatoes. The best way to do this is to cut an “X” shape through the end of the fruit, using long strokes but not cutting too deeply into the flesh of the fruit. You’ll then blanch them quickly in boiling water, for a minute or so (depending on size – cherry tomatoes will require less time). Then remove to an ice bath. When cool, peel and use!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
Coconut Cashew Basil Curry Soup (from Seriously Good Freezer Meals)
One of my most requested recipes from family and friends is this coconut cashew curry soup. You will love the rich taste, deep flavors and crunch of the salty cashews.
- 2 lbs (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic salt
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 onion quartered
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic
- 1 tsp (5 mL) minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper
- 2 cans (14 oz/398 mL each) coconut milk
- 2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth or Homemade Chicken Stock (page 349)
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) curry powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
- 11/2 tsp (7 mL) dried basil
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) salted roasted cashews
- Chopped fresh cilantro optional
- Small fresh basil leaves optional
- Sliced jalapeño pepper optional
Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt. In a large wok or skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil until smoking. Working in batches, add chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until no longer pink inside and slightly crispy on one or two edges. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.
In a blender or food processor, combine onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño; blend on High until smooth. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, curry powder, salt and pepper; blend until smooth.
Make It Now: In a large saucepan, combine chicken and any accumulated juices, coconut milk mixture and dried basil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to deepen flavors. Remove from heat. Ladle into bowls and top with cashews, plus cilantro, fresh basil and jalapeño, if using.
Make It a Freezer Meal: Let chicken cool completely. Pour chicken, coconut milk mixture and dried basil into a labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bag. Seal, removing as much air as possible, and freeze. Place cashews in a quart-size (1 L) freezer bag and seal. Place both bags in another gallon bag and seal together.
Thaw and Cook: Place soup in refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours to thaw, or run lukewarm water over bag until you can break soup apart. Pour bag contents into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to deepen flavors. Remove from heat. Ladle into bowls and top with cashews, plus cilantro, fresh basil and jalapeño, if using.
Courtesy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity by Karrie Truman © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.
Image credit: Charity Burggraaf
The Best Homemade Vegan Cheese & Ice Cream Recipes cookbook includes a wide array of 25 vegan cheese recipes, including fermented and specialty cheeses, and an equally enjoyable assortment of 25 recipes for ice creams, sorbets, ice pops, and truly unique frozen desserts. Included in those is also a homemade cone recipe.
And for my friends who don’t buy cookbooks that don’t include pictures, guess what? Every single recipe has a gorgeous full-page picture!
The ice cream bases include almond milk, coconut milk, rice cream, soy milk, soy yogurt and soy cream for the most part, although I suspect you could substitute for various allergies if needed. You would have to experiment though.
So go on, make use of your garden and local tomatoes before they’re gone… until next year!
Life is a plate… Eat up,
Environmental Working Group’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce