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Tomato dazzlers.

Tomato dazzlers Tomatoes multiply this month -- and not only in traditional red, but also in a spectrum of orange, yellow, white, green, and a multicolored mosaic.

You'll find many of the varieties pictured here at markets and produce stands. Home gardens remain the best source for hollow stuffer and white varieties.

We offer ways to use tomatoes fresh in salad, filled with couscous, and in gazpacho. And you can preserve some of their goodness in a basic sauce (see page 104) to freeze and use throughout the year.

Slight differences in flavor and texture show up -- tomatoes range from tart to sweet, watery to meaty -- but varieties are interchangeable in these recipes (except for stuffers; they're the best for filling).

Tomatoes with Shallot Vinaigrette

4 large butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and crisped (optional) 2 large (about 1-1/4 lb. total) tomatoes, cored and sliced Shallot vinaigrette (recipe follows) Salt and pepper

Place lettuce and tomatoes on a serving platter or 4 salad plates. Spoon vinaigrette evenly over tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 151 cal.; 1.3 g protein; 14 g fat; 7 g carbo.; 50 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Shallot vinaigrette. Mix 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons minced shallots, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves. Makes 1/2 cup.

Tomatoes with Minted Couscous

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped 1 small onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced 3/4 cup regular-strength chicken broth 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1/2 cup couscous 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dry mint leaves Salt and pepper 6 large (4 to 5 oz. each) stuffer tomatoes, or large (about 8 oz. each) regular tomatoes Fresh mint sprigs

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine oil, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Stir often over medium-high heat until onion is faintly browned, about 10 minutes. Add broth, cumin, and cayenne; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in chopped mint and salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, cut around top of each tomato to make a lid. Scoop out seeds and any pulp, leaving shell. Reserve pulp for another use or discard. Fill tomatoes with couscous. Place in a shallow 1- to 1-1/2-quart baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 [degrees] oven until hot in center, about 20 minutes. Set lids on tomatoes or alongside. Garnish with mint sprigs. Serves 6.

Per serving: 124 cal.; 3.2 g protein; 5 g fat; 17 g carbo.; 16 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Tomato Gazpacho

This cool soup embodies the essence of fresh tomato. Simply puree the tomatoes, season with vinegar and oil, then offer condiments to add texture and flavor.

2-1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes 1/4 cup wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt 4 ripe tomato slices 1 small firm-ripe avocado 1 tablespoon lime juice 2/3 cup thinly sliced cucumber 1/3 to 1/2 cup sour cream 1/3 cup chopped red or white onion 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) 1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh hot chili such as jalapeno Lime wedges

Dip 2 or 3 tomatoes at a time in boiling water to cover for 20 to 30 seconds, lift out, then pell and core. If tomatoes are juicy, cut in half crosswise and squeeze gently to push out and discard seed pockets. Cut tomatoes into 1-inch chunks.

Puree tomatoes, a portion at a time, in a blender or food processor. In a large bowl, mix pureed tomatoes, venegar, olive oil, and salt to taste. Cover and chill until cold, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

In each of 4 shallow bowls, pour equal portions of tomato mixture. Lay 1 tomato slice on top. Peel, pit, and thinly slice avocado. Brush lime juice over avocado slices. Offer avocado, cucumber, sour cream, onion, cilantro, chili, and lime wedges to add to each bowl to taste. Serve cold. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving with condiments: 223 cal.; 4 g protein; 17 g fat; 18 g carbo.; 40 mg sodium; 8.3 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Aug 1, 1990
Words:717
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