Sing Me a Song of Tomatoes!

It’s hot. We’ve reached triple digit degree weather. And it’s miserably hot. I drove home from work with the AC blasting, but it didn’t do anything to stop the sweat trickling down my back. It’s hot. The birds are even silent. Yep. Too depleted of energy I bet. When it’s this hot one feels lethargic. Jogging, walking–all of that is out of the question (unless, of course one has a gym membership and can burn calories in an air conditioned building). It’s hot.

When I think of the word ‘hot’ somewhere along the synaptic route of my brain I associate it with ‘hothouse’ and then that of course leads me to ‘tomatoes’. And speaking of tomatoes…subconsciously, I presume, while searching for quick and easy dinner recipes I gravitate towards the ones that feature tomatoes…of late anyway. I’ve been eating a lot of tomatoes. Perhaps…subconsciously…I am prepping my body with lycopene so that when I do take that beach vacation I’ll be armed (with sunscreen, too, of course) to face the sun.

So, here is a medley of tomato infused, tomato glorified, tomato mixed dishes I have prepared…of late. (Did I mention how HOT it is here?)

I got the recipe for this dish from roostblog.com. It’s simple, lovely and reminds me of a Margherita pizza but in tart form.

The other day I invited one of my friends over for dinner and a movie. That morning I found a recipe on epicurious.com by Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton. Spicy Steamed Mussels with Garlic Bread.

I’ve never cooked mussels before until that day. Easy peasy! The recipe was a breeze, and the dish was so good my friend and I were licking our fingers.

Instead of calling the dish Spicy Steamed Mussels, etc. I renamed it:

Mussels (in a spicy tomato pureed sauce infused with a ton of garlic)…15 cloves to be exact.

While I was at the store shopping for mussels I also picked up a container of mixed mini tomatoes, a large cucumber, mint, parsley, scallions…and a two-pound bag of quinoa.

Again, I’ve never cooked quinoa until just the other evening. I found a recipe on epicurious.com (I visit them often) for Quinoa Tabbouleh. I love Tabbouleh. Love the lemony garlic-y dressing, the combination of crisp cucumber, juicy tomatoes, fresh mint and parsley. So, why not try it with quinoa?

Another easy dish to prepare during the overly hot summer months. It’s a refreshing salad which I enjoyed with good quality toasted bread and hummus and assorted marinated Greek olives.

All images ©2012 Sriprae P. McDonald

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