August 31, 2008

blowing hot and cold

Where does the time go? I can't believe summer is already winding down. Here are two side dishes, one hot and one cold, that I shall miss terribly when the summer bounty is no more.


On the cool side of things, we have this salad, which was directly inspired by a recipe from Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. Resistance was futile since it contained both cilantro (my all-time favorite herb) and avocado, and fortuitously, I happened to have everything in the ingredient list. My only adjustment was the addition of diced banana peppers.


(note to self: a green bowl is not a helpful picture-taking aid)

The tomatoes you see (including that gorgeous yellow one) are from my "garden" (or rather, my tomato patch, since that's all I'm able to grow...). I might be a bit biased, but they're some of the best tomatoes that have ever passed between my lips.


(the fact that the tomato has buttocks just made it that much better...)

It's a delightful little side dish, refreshing and perfect for summer--thanks, Kalyn!

Side dish number two is based on a saute created by Chuck of Sunday Nite Dinner. While that dish made use of okra and basil, I again used banana peppers and cilantro. After sauteing, I also tossed in some red cabbage for color and crunch. It's pretty purty, ain't it?


The tomatoes I used in this dish came from my brother's garden back in good ol' Virginia. They're called Black Russians, and they are delectable. By delectable, I mean extremely juicy, perfectly sweet, and just the right acidity for my tastes.


Since these Black Russians are so phenomenal, I'm sending this dish to Ramona at The Houndstooth Gourmet for her You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto event. Tomatoes rule.

Meanwhile, I was just opining to Pam of Sidewalk Shoes that someone needed to compose an ode to the wonder that is cilantro. So, without further adieu, here's my cilantro haiku (hey, even that rhymes--perhaps I'm a poet, after all...):

Green, verdant, pungent.
You can improve any dish.
Without you, I cry.


Hmm...perhaps not.

49 comments:

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Both of these dishes look fantastic and I'm with you on the cilantro! Its a great addition to many a dish...and one of the few things I can grow in my backyard without killing, lol. Also, both of those tomatoes look great (and of a great size--I am the master of midgetized produce, haha)....and that haiku is hilarious

Lucy said...

In agreement with Mike, both dishes are simply fantastic... my garden is in full harvest mode and enjoying every bit of it.

Bunny said...

I've never seen or heard of a Black Russian tomato! Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable as well. Both these salads look so good Grace, the pictures just make me want them now.

noble pig said...

A Black Russian, wow that's pretty cool! Yes cilantro changes everything for the better, that's for sure!

Pam said...

Both dishes are wonderful. Your tomatoes look beautiful, ripe and juicy. I totally agree with you about cilantro - it's my favorite herb.

jodycakes said...

These are gorgeous. I would like to find a tomato that is not so acidic...I wonder if I can get my mitts on one or two of these lil' gems...?
Happy Labor Day

Dawn said...

I had a bunch of those black russians: large and the mini one's. And I have to agree with you they were sweeter, less acid. I loved them. Hard to find, but Whole Foods had some great looking ones. When I get a house, I want to grow those. Wonder how they would hold up in making a basic red sauce?

Tiffany said...

I too, am sad that summer is winding down. I just came from the farmer's market where the abundance of tomatoes was unreal. And, I also got some cilantro. . . meaning- watch out I will be trying Kayln's recipe too.

OhioMom said...

Great side dishes, I sliced my first homegrown heirloom mater from my garden yesterday and ate the whole thing without sharing. OMG ... they are delish!

The Blonde Duck said...

I liked your haiku! What kind of camera do you use? Your pictures are great!

ovenhaven said...

The buttock tomato is after my heart, I kid you not :P

Marjie said...

That Black Russian tomato is really interesting looking! I have no garden this year, since no one wanted to help plant it (I shudder to think of little ol' me and all those big ol' weeds). And as far as I'm concerned, all a garden needs is tomatoes, and everyone should be in hog heaven!

Mary Coleman said...

Cilantro is the only herb that refuses to cooperate in my garden or in a planter. But it is the all time great herb, isn't it!

Lorraine E said...

Those Black Russian tomatoes look great! I've never heard of them but wish we had something like that here.

LOL Tomato with buttocks. I've seen an eggplant with a penis (a few times!). Talk about food porn ;)

Pam said...

Your cilantro haiku made me laugh! My CSA has been supplying me with some of the best tomatoes I've ever eaten. I have to say that the golden yellow ones are definitely my favorites.

Rayrena said...

They both look great! I love cilantro too; it's one of the herbs I try to always have on hand. Growing hasn't been a great success :(

The salad with avocado would be yummy on grilled bread...

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

oh, all those tomatoes look fantastic. The color in the first photo is super! Summer tomatoes will surely be missed. sigh....

Vera said...

Black Russian tomatoes - never heard of these before! I'm glad they were delicious, makes me proud (being Russian :)
The salad is fabulous! Too bad I'm not growing anything except clover :)

Jeanne said...

You crack me up - the tomato with buttocks! I also find rudely-shaped food endlessly amusing... :o)

ALl the tomatoes pictured look fantastic - I'd love to try the Black Russians. Tomatoes are such good fun to grow - high return on investment!

hot garlic said...

I love avocado and cilantro with passion too, this salad is gorgeous! And I don't hardly think your are biased, those tomatoes are absolutely stunning, bum crack and all!

I really want to take a bite of this, your pics make it look so incredibly tasty! Kudos to Kayln {her blog is great} for this delightful recipe. I am going to try it for sure in about 3 months when I have tomatoes on my vines like these {I just planted them today in fact!}

Ann said...

A tomato with butt cheeks! Fabulous!

Kalyn said...

Your tomatoes look fantastic. My own tomatoes are taking forever to get ripe this year. I think the summer was too hot in Utah for best tomato production, everyone seems to be having that problem. Glad you liked the salad!

Sandy said...

Hey Grace - it's a tomato day! LOL. The Black Russians look like our Black Krims. This is my first time to plant the yellow/tangerine ones.
Check out my blog if you want to roast your tomatoes! YUM.
Happy Labor Day.

Laura said...

I am totally with you on cilantro. I absolutely always have some one hand.

These dishes look fantastic.

kellypea said...

So we're on the same wavelength -- dermateys as we call them for some reason. I love those Black Russians. Didn't know that's what they're called -- I just grab them out of the organic pile along with those stripedy green ones and the yellowy red ones. This salad is pretty close to one I make and love being the fan of cilantro and avocado that I am. YUM! Those are some gorgeous tomatoes coming out of that patch of yours. Maybe I can actually get a tomato pot going next year. I tell yah...

Helene said...

Hi, I'm giving you an Award:
http://helene-lacuisine.blogspot.com/2008/08/simple-art-of-tart.html

Have a wonderful day!

Kevin said...

I like using avocado in salads and they go well with tomatoes.

Lori said...

The only Black Russian I have had is the one that came in a glass at the bar. Hmm. But I would love to try this tomato. I JUST love tomatoes. We have 42 tomato plants in our garden. It is mostly tomatoes and I love it. However I have to can, can, can. And I aint talkin the dance.

Jude said...

Too bad most people don't share that same love for cilantro. Summer goes by so fast and your post is a welcome reminder that I need to get those tomatoes while they're around.

kimberleyblue said...

cilantro is my favourite herb too! these sound great - especially tomato and avocado!

i wish summer lasted forever!

Gloria (Canela) said...

Ilove tomatoes,avocados and cilantro and thsi dish look absolutely tasty! xxGloria

Leslie said...

Love love love these fresh summer salads! Yummo

Bridgett said...

I have never heard of a black russian tomato! Looks interesting and I would love to try one. I am addicted to avocados and stick them in almost every salad I make.

canarygirl said...

My mouth is WATERING, Grace. Your tomato dishes are incredible!

Lore said...

I'd miss them both too, in fact I'll be missing all the great summery fresh produce!

Kitchen Flavours said...

Nice click of photos.

giz said...

Grace, it seems like just yesterday we started the good natured teasing about gardening and now look at your gorgeous tomato. You done did it girl - pat pat pat on your back. Your brother's tomatoes are wild - I've never seen this variety of tomato -what a gorgeous salad this combination makes.

LyB said...

I love tomatoes, those are two beautiful dishes there, Grace. You're a great cook, gardener and poet, a "jack of all trades" you might say! :)

Jeff said...

Awesome dishes!! I am thinking both of these are getting added to the list of holy crap what am I going to do with all these tomatoes that I currently have.

That Russian tomatoes are by far my favorite ones right now. I had 4 plant this year and have been hording and munching on those tomatoes.

Y said...

Well endowed tomatoes.. MMMmmmmmm....

Sandie said...

I'm completely jealous of your tomatoes, especially the ones with buttocks!

If I were to show you photos of our produce this year, especially our tomato plants, you would shed a tear in sympathy. *Sigh*

We're not sure what happened, nonetheless, we still have local farmers' markets and a tomato-growing acquaintance to keep us in the loop.

Oh, and I'll be looking into Black Russian tomatoes. They sound intriguing and are completely new to me.

Deborah said...

I'm definitely going to try that first dish - delicious! (actually, they both look amazing, but that first one is really calling my name!) Our tomatoes have been growing like crazy - I can't keep up with them!

Emiline said...

Look at those tomatoes! They're gorgeous.

Sarah said...

That tomato looks wonderful. I am so glad my little plants turned into fruitful adults. Mine look really good too. The outside is really misleading but the inside is wonderful! Make sure to save your seeds on some tomatoes because you can't buy those, it is a hertiage tomato!

Elle said...

I hate that our garden sucked this year. Too much rain, so not enough tomatoes.

These dishes look lovely, Grace!

Ann said...

Okay, that tomato totally has a nice ass.

And, can I thank you for loving cilantro? Because if I hear one more person say it tastes like "dirt" (wtf?), I'm going to crack.

Rosie said...

These dishes are gorgeous. I'm growing my own tomatoes but now the weathers turning cooler they won’t last long.

Loved the pics :)

Rosie x

Cara said...

your tomato dishes sound delicious - and that Black Russian tomtato - oh my, I have never seen or heard of such a thing!

descentintodessert said...

totally support avocado and cilantro! i too can't resist one or the other, but the combo is unstoppable. i'll be trying these for sure (and quickly... oh, fall!)