Gluten-free Vegan Slow-Roasted Baby Tomato White Bean Salad Recipe

August 27th, 2011 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Garlic-free, JM friendly, Salad, Soy Free, Vegan, beans, grain-free, herbs, tomatoes 10 Comments »

Here at the House of Yum we have gone from being the House of Pattypan to the House of Tomatoes! Yes, at last my precious darlings have come “on” and tomatoes have been ripening like nobody’s business. I have been obsessed with organic heirloom tomatoes ever since I first discovered Cynthia’s amazing Love Apple Farm and the gorgeous varieties she sells and teaches people how to grow. I never knew tomatoes could be so beautiful and interesting before I came to live in California. Of course, now heirloom tomatoes are at every farmer’s market and even available at chain grocery stores like Safeway, but that certainly wasn’t the case when I was a child or even a young adult. Anyway, I’d never had a chance to grow them properly until we got our first house, although I gave it a valiant try on a few sunny balconies. Those balcony tomatoes grew pretty well, actually, when I followed my tomato guru,Cynthia, and her instructions properly and babied them along. They grew like mutant tomato weeds, actually, and reached high above my head to grab onto our apartment roof- go tomatoes, go! But once we got our house and its front and back yards with real dirt (yes, we bought the house for the yards… and the kitchen) we were ready to take tomato growing seriously. Cynthia advises her students that those wimpy tomato cages you find at the nursery and discount store are not remotely adequate for supporting a truly healthy, happy heirloom tomato. She has us plant the tomato quite deep in the ground to let it develop a massive root structure, and when you do this, the tomato plant tends to grow up-up-up as well as down. We’re talking 10 feet plants or taller here, folks. So you need a REAL tomato cage. Cynthia’s preference for tomato cages is in cement reinforcing wire. What? Yes, you heard me. But guess what? If you want the real stuff that is 10 feet high (and we did) in our area, we had to buy 200 feet of the stuff. *gulp* Do you have any idea how heavy that is? We found out when we stuffed it into our amazing transformer-car, the YUM Fit, by pushing down every seat possible to make a flat platform for the stuff. Our car suspension gulped and rocked a bit, let me tell you. Oh, and that stuff isn’t cheap either. What can I say, this tomato growing thing is an obsession. Hopefully we will be able to use it over the years… and maybe open our shed to sell the stuff to our neighbors in an illicit tomato support operation. So we dutifully assembled our tomato cages, which required gloves and wire cutters. I felt pretty cool, chopping through concrete reinforcing wire like butter with my snippers. The DH looked pretty hot, too, in his workman’s gloves and outdoorsy Colorado-native apparel.
But most of all, it was about the tomatoes. Ah the things we do for love. So fast-forward a slow, cool summer. My tomatoes grew, but waiting for them to ripen in this unseasonably cool summer was agony. And then- the first marmanade turned red. And next… the hippie zebra coughed up a representative. And all of a sudden, we were swimming in tomatoes.
I took up canning for the first time in my life, and canned some beautiful jars of heirlooms in their own juices.

Besides the medium and large tomatoes (Japanese Oxheart, Russian 117, Hippie Zebra, Costralee, Berkeley Tie Dye, Marmande, Costoluto, and the gorgeous Grandma Josie) we also planted two baby tomato plants- the Black Cherry and Yellow Pear. To my delight, Toddler Yum is enamoured of the Yellow Pear and loves to pick them off the vine one by one and pop them in her mouth. She doesn’t discriminate between yellow and green, so unless I want her to eat the green, puckery ones, I have to help guide her in the harvest. Yesterday I watched a toddler dance where she would pick one (with Mommy’s help), run back to the stoop, sit down and shove the juicy tomato into her mouth until her cheeks were puffed out like a squirrel, and then get up to pick another one. Rinse, repeat.

Much as I love these baby tomatoes fresh, one can only eat so many before you start to feel like you are turning into a tomato. In previous years, I’d tried slow-roasting tomatoes and was impressed by the quality of flavor and how this savory fruit transforms into a sweet, caramelized bite of heaven on slow-roasting. So with all these adorable baby darlings, I had to try slow roasting them. I found Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for slow-roasted tomatoes and tried my own variation. I could eat these babies like candy. In fact, I’d rather have them than candy. The only down-side is that this will tie up your oven for hours, and warm the house up a bit. But, I’m happy to suffer a little for the reward of these sweet little treats. I like to combine two mini-tomato varieties so you get the color contrast. Beautiful!
I could eat them plain by the bowlful, but I was intrigued by Deb’s casual comment about using these tomatoes in a white bean salad with fresh basil. YES! I thought, and pulled out a can of white beans post-haste. But I couldn’t just stop there. Inspired by our upcoming planned trip to Israel, I wanted to put a bit of a middle-eastern slant on things. I had a lovely bottle of lime olive oil and a new herb blend called sabzi (intended for use in koofteh a.k.a. meatballs) that I’ve been obsessed putting on everything EXCEPT meat, and I thought they would add a lovely touch to the recipe. I’ve also been obsessed with my herbamare salt blend, thanks to Ali of Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen and our friend Kelly of Spunky Coconut. I mixed it all together, thought it needed a touch of color and sprinkled a little paprika. Whalah, a beautiful and healthy salad with all the addicting qualities of slow-roasted tomatoes but with protein to boot. Nice. The DH and I gobbled it up and wanted more. If only I had more white beans! Time to stock up. I’ve made 3 or 4 batches of these slow roasted tomatoes and am planning on freezing some so I can enjoy this taste of summer in the heart of winter when the ae nemic tomatoes in the supermarket make me want to cry. Besides being wonderful in this salad, they are great on pasta, on gluten-free focaccia, on crackers, and I bet as Deb suggests they would be divine on gluten-free bagels with cream cheese. Who needs lox when you have slow-roasted tomatoes?

-I shared this recipe with Seasonal Sunday and GCC Recipe Swap .

*Note: Adopt a Gluten-free Blogger will be open for sign-ups on September 15th as we will be overseas in early September

Slow Roasted Tomato White Bean Salad
Ingredients
1/3 to 1/2 cup slow roasted baby tomatoes halves*
2 cups or 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
lime olive oil (or lemon olive oil, or plain), for drizzling
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
dried sabzikoofteh herb blend (savory, parsley, dill, leek)**
herbamare or your favorite salt
smoked spanish paprika, regular paprika, cayenne or chipotle powder
Directions
Gently fold together your roasted baby tomato halves with the white beans and drizzle with lime olive oil. Toss some fresh basil and dried herb blend on top and mix it in to evenly coat the salad. Sprinkle top with herbamare (if needed) and a little paprika for garnish.
Notes
*To roast baby tomatoes, Preheat oven to 225F. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice your tomatoes in half. I used yellow pear and black cherry tomatoes; yum! Place halves on parchment paper with the “cup” facing up so the tomato holds in its yummy juices. Drizzle with olive oil or grapeseed oil. Toss some fresh herbs on top. I like thyme and marjoram, but also usually throw on some sage and basil if I’m feeling crazy. . Sprinkle lightly with salt. Slow cook tomatoes for at least 3 hours. Don’t dry the little darlings out too much; you want them to still be moist and tender, not dehydrated chips of tomato. If your baby tomatoes are large, you may wish to cook for up to 5 hours. Remove from oven, let cool, and place in a tupperware, drizzling them with a little additional olive oil to store. I assume you will taste a few. Try not to gobble them all up on the spot. This is definitely a temptation.

**I buy this at a Middle Eastern market, specifically Caron Intl. Food Market in Sunnyvale. If you can’t find it in your area, you can blend your own and use dried chives or dried onion instead of the leek OR just use your favorite green dill spice mix.

I served this with an heirloom baked potato drizzled in wonderful tahini from a Middle Eastern Market, seasoned with herbamare and more sabzikoofteh. Delish!

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Gluten-free Sweet Tomato Tart and Pie, Crisp, Cobbler Carnival

July 22nd, 2011 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Blog Event, Nut Free, Sorghum, Soy Free, tomatoes 9 Comments »

A few years ago, I read about a little tomato stand in the Santa Cruz mountains called Love Apple Farm with heirloom, organic tomato plants that they sold in the Spring. One unseasonably warm weekend in early Spring, the DH and I made our way to that tomato stand (which turned out not to be so little) and bought some tomato plants that we lovingly installed on our balcony. We also picked up some homemade tomato jam from a woman who later started her own business as Jeannie’s Jams, also on Twitter. That tomato jam was very tasty. Fast-forward a few years. The DH and I have bought a house and that house came with a yard (two yards, actually, a front AND back yard) perfect for growing tomatoes. It is also nice for growing other things, but it is really all about the tomatoes for me. We went a little crazy this year and bought about ten lovelies, each one unique and wonderful in its own way. The season has been cool, but using Cynthia of Love Apple Farm’s special techniques, those tomato plants are gloriously healthy and currently about 10 feet tall, with some gorgeous tomatoes on the verge of ripening. I’ve been tapping my toes impatiently waiting for them to arrive, but at the same time, I know that once they do we’ll be swimming in tomatoes. I may start bathing in the stuff. Finally, my patience was rewarded in the tiniest way when my beautiful Marmande finally yielded first one red tomato, and then a second. This is just the tip of the iceburg, my friends.
So, in preparation for the upcoming bounty, and with thoughts of tarts, cobblers and pies dancing in my head, combined with memories of sweet heirloom tomato jam, I developed a gluten-free recipe for an altogether unexpected treat- a gluten-free sweet tomato tart with nary a nod to the savory. You could make many variations on this, whether by changing out the cream cheese with creme fraiche, tofutti better than cream cheese, mascarpone, or be really fancy with vanilla custard or Creme diplomate. You could also JUST put a thin layer of sugar simmered or slow roasted tomatoes on the bare tart and either top it with a creamy sauce (or whipped cream, or cashew cream) or eat it entirely bare. This is a delicate dessert, so beware when relocating it, and do leave it in its protective tart pan until the last possible minute. It is also a recipe I think I’ll be tweaking in the future, but it was so fun that I had to share it with you as the lead recipe in a gluten-free tart, pie, crisp, or cobbler carnival. I was inspired to make all these cobblers this week by the fruit trees in my yard, and also by the Pie Day Shauna hosted recently. I wasn’t able to participate, but I hope to see some of the participants share their gorgeous creations here so I can live vicariously through them just a little. I hope you enjoy, my dears. My breakfast this morning was a homemade cappuccino and a Sweet tomato tart- or is it a tartlette? Either way, it was a wonderful start to the day.

Other interesting tomato tarts (not Gluten-free)
David Lebovitz’s Savory French Tomato Tart Recipe
101 Cookbooks Savory Fresh Heirloom Tomato Tart in a Parmesan crust
Savory Cheesy Tomato Tart
Tomato Tarte Tatin

And now, the promised Tart, Pie, Crisp, and Cobbler Linky for GLUTEN-FREE recipes. If you have a related recipe that is NOT gluten-free, you can share in comments, but let us leave Mr. Linky for the gluten-free recipes.

Rules: Please link only to Gluten-free Recipes for Pies, Tarts, Crisps or Cobblers. Also, provide a link back to this carnival page on your submitted recipe post so people can find us and add more yummy recipe links! Thanks and I can’t wait to see what you share.



Gluten-free Sweet Tomato Tart
Ingredients
Tarts (makes one large or 5 or 6 small tarts)
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
9 Tb. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk, whisked lightly

Cream cheese layer:
1/2 package (4 oz) cream cheese or possibly creme fraiche (only if using very soft, runny tomato jam)
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
dash vanilla
1 tsp. powdered sugar (or more to taste)

Sweet Tomato Jam (see notes for the recipe I used)

Directions
Butter 5 small tart pans OR 1 large tart pan and reserve.

Combine flours, sugar, and salt for tart in a food processor and blend to combine.Add your buter and pulse until it is evenly distributed. Add your egg yolk and process until you have smooth dough. Divide into 5 or 6 sections if doing mini-tart option and drop each section into a tart pan. Press out into a tart crust using your fingers, making sure to come up the edges and leave a depression in the middle for the filling. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, Cut out circles of aluminum foil (or parchment paper) for the center of each mini tart. Butter them and place them in the center of each tart. I used aluminum foil but it stuck a little and didn’t leave a pretty, smooth bottom for the tarts, so I’d use parchment next time.
Bake on 350 for 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown, and then GENTLY remove your foil or parchment circles and bake another 5-10 minutes or until golden.

Cool and reserve for use later. I made them the night before assembling. You should put your filling in just prior to serving or the crust could become soggy.

Whip together cream cheese layer ingredients and reserve.

To assemble, put a layer of the cream cheese in the tart and then gently cover with a layer of tomato jam. Enjoy!

Notes
Tomato jam for 2-3 small tarts
3 heirloom organic tomatoes (small varieties are fun to combine with larger varieties, just slice in half and roast before adding to preserve shape)
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
dash vanilla

3 tomatoes, either diced or with 1 diced and reserved, and the rest thinly sliced and roasted on 250f for as long as you can stand it. For me, it was about 2 hours. Then bring your water and sugar to a boil and add all of your tomatoes (1 fresh and 2 roasted, or all fresh). Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened but still spreadable.

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