A virtual cooking class on wheels, the RV Cooking Show takes viewers on adventures to some of the most sought-after or interesting but little known RV locales then creates a healthy, easy destination-related RV recipe in host Evanne Schmarder's RV kitchen. Tune in to our RV TV...it's always delicious!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

RV Cooking Show's Top 5 Ways with Tomatoes

It’s September and in most areas of the country we are nearing the end of the tomato growing season. Sure you can get tomatoes at the grocery store year-round but, with the exception of a few sweet imports, they rarely live up to our summertime tomato memories. Sweet, juicy, fragrant, huge, misshapen, petite, rosy red, striped green, yellow or orange I love fresh from the vine tomatoes (and I’ll bet that you do, too)!

As a tribute to the beloved and fleeting summer tomato I’ve compiled five of my favorite ways I use tomatoes in my RV kitchen – in no particular order...and there are a million more. Take a stroll through my tomato repertoire and please add your own comments, recipes, ideas, and any other tomato trivia below.

Caprese Salad – This delicious Italian salad is beautiful and elegant. Perfect as a starter for an alfresco meal and good enough to enjoy as a small meal with some fresh baked ciabatta bread, it’s as easy and welcome as a summer breeze. Here’s a how-to – you’ll need fresh ripe tomatoes – sliced thick, mozzarella cheese (best if you can find buffalo milk mozzarella – if not use fresh cow’s milk mozzarella) – sliced in thick rounds, several fresh basil leaves – torn, salt/pepper, and a good quality extra virgin olive oil. Arrange the tomatoes, cheese, and basil in a circle overlapping one another. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Pure heaven.

BLT – When we first began our fulltime RV adventure we stopped at my sister-in-laws – a great gardener. While there are a lot of wonderful memories from that visit the one that plays again and again is the BLT sandwiches she brought over to our camper (parked on her property) and we enjoyed in my little RV kitchen. Thick slices of fresh, grainy bread toasted and spread with a touch of mayonnaise, ample crispy, salty bacon (don’t skimp on the bacon, okay!), iceberg lettuce, and thick, dripping slices of red, ripe tomatoes from her garden. Like avocado? ‘Tis the season – add some creamy slices of the green goodness to your BLT and make it a BLTA!

Stuffed and Grilled – I’m grabbing every moment of grilling time left and have had more than my share of ooey-gooey, blue cheese stuffed, bread crumb-topped grilled tomatoes this summer. Visit this RV Cooking Show episode page and watch the grilled blue cheese tomato video, print the recipe or do both!

Pico de Gallo – No kidding, a neophyte in the RV kitchen I was in a South Padre Island grocery and struck up a conversation about peppers with an employee – a Mexican fellow - who proudly shared his wife’s pico de gallo recipe. What a treat – easy and delicious! This no-cook salsa-like dip has a fresh flavor that is perfect for potlucks or happy hours (served with tortilla chips) or served beside any Mexican dish. I love this dish so much that I included it as one of my trio of salsas in this RV Cooking Show episode. Watch, print, or both – it’s all good!

Roasted – This is my favorite method for saving and savoring summer’s tomato bounty well into winter. While it’s a challenge to roast tomatoes in my RV oven I jump at the opportunity (and share, too) to prepare these tasty tidbits when visiting a friend with a home kitchen. Here’s a how-to: Preheat the oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Brush or spray lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Thickly slice as many tomatoes as will fit on the sheet (don’t be shy – use all types of tomatoes – even cherries halved). Roughly chop several cloves of garlic (or leave clumps of cloves whole in their “paper” to roast and use later). Arrange the tomatoes on the cookie sheet, sprinkle with the garlic, top with more extra virgin olive oil and a generous dusting of salt and pepper. Bake 2-4 hours until roasted and rather dry on the outside but still a little moist inside. Allow to cool (go ahead, pop a few in your mouth and be prepared to be swept away!), gather them up into a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for later use.

And hey, a little trivia…the jelly-like substance around the seeds contains the highest concentration of vitamin C…or so they say… And it’s been proven that our bodies absorb lycopene – thought to be a strong cancer-fighter - found in high concentrations in tomatoes – when eaten with a bit of fat – say olive oil.

To tomatoes!!


1 comment:

Tito said...


I love your site and blog. I enjoyed watching all of your young RVer videos and am now inspired to try some of your cooking tips starting with tomatoes.

From my calculations, we're close to the same age and also don't seem to fit the typical RVer stereotype. We're having a blast though with our kids and don't regret any of it.

Thanks for all of the great stuff you publish online. I've added a link to your site on my blog (www.rvwithtito.com) and will keep checking back for more.


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