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Friday, August 29, 2014

Totes Tomatoes

Well, this summer has provided a BUMPER crop of tomatoes, thanks to my housemate's dad roto-tilling the beds before we planted. We feasted all summer on cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, fat and sassy Heirloom tomatoes and last but not least, some Gilberti tomatoes (which look very much like big ol' chili peppers on the outside, but are meaty and tasty tomatoes on the inside).

From Caprese salad to omelettes to pizza to tacos to a quick thrown together rice-and-vegetables something-or-other, these little red balloons of deliciousness have delivered every time.

I am sad to see them go, so I wanted to go out with a bang. My latest issue of Vegetarian Times gave me just the recipe to do so. This recipe, even for a half batch, required a whole mixing bowl of the season's end of tomatoes. It was crazy to cut up so many and see them get pulverized into a glistening and mouth-watering sauce.

If you want a flavorful dish with lots of color and texture, this does the trick. Enjoy! (And farewell, sweet tomato friends... see you next summer.)

Tomato Curry with Tofu and Vegetables
serves 6 (remember, I made a half-batch)

Curry Sauce
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 medium white onion, diced
5 large tomatoes, chopped (6 cups)
⅓ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup raw cashews
½ tsp. ground turmeric
¼ tsp. garam masala, optional

Tofu and Vegetables
2 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided
1 16-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into ½-inch cubes
8 oz. white button mushrooms, quartered (3 cups)
½ cup frozen peas, thawed

1. To make Curry Sauce: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, and sauté 30 seconds. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes more. Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes. Transfer to blender (I used my immersion blender directly into my soup pot), add yogurt and cashews, and purée until smooth. Return sauce to saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat. Add turmeric and garam masala (if using), and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and cook 20 to 30 minutes, or until thickened. (I made this sauce in the afternoon, then threw everything else together that night before din din.)

2. Meanwhile, to make Tofu and Vegetables: Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, and sauté 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden-brown. Transfer to plate, and set aside. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in same skillet, add mushrooms, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Stir tofu, mushrooms, and peas into Curry Sauce; season with salt, if desired. Cook over low heat 5 minutes, or until heated through.

September 2014, Vegetarian Times p.10

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