Friday, September 25, 2009

Italian Spinach

I know you are supposed enjoy your tomatoes in the hot and hazy days of late August, but up here in the North it takes until late September to finally get a good crop. It has been a long journey that started with planting seeds all the way back in February. I can't say that we are swimming in tomatoes since not that many ripen at one time. I had all sorts of dreams about canning my own pasta sauce this year but there is no way we have enough tomatoes to do that. Still, this year's crop is a vast improvement over last year's crop of exactly zero. So, with a few extra tomatoes on hand I whipped up this simple but tasty side dish. You could also easily turn this into a sauce to serve over pasta, as I have indicated below.

- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 small sweet onion, halved and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- about 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 1 bunch spinach, washed and drained
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan/pot. Saute onion and garlic for 5-7 mins, until softened and golden. Add cherry tomatoes and vermouth and bring to bubbling. Let simmer for about 10 mins, until tomatoes have reduced into a sauce.
2. Add spinach, cover pan, and cook for a min or so. Once spinach begins to wilt, remove lid and cook, stirring constantly to coat spinach with sauce. Cook for a few mins, until spinach is tender but not overdone. Season to taste and serve, draining off excess liquid if needed.
3. If you want to make a pasta sauce, add about 1 tbsp of tomato paste to thicken, then toss with pasta.
Here is one of our beefstake tomatoes. Mmmmm.


Heather said...

Congrats on the crop!
That is a gorgeous, squinched-up looking tomato!

taleoftwovegans said...

That tomato is absolutely gorgeous! I guess whatever a backyard garden lacks in quantity it can make up for with quality, right? The spinach dish sounds delicious - definitely seem like something where the final product is greater than the sum of it's parts! :) -Eve

Vegmers said...

I'm having the same issue with my tomatoes. No big ones have ripened yet (the squirrels have enjoyed a bunch of green ones) - just yummy yellow cherry tomatoes. Nothing like the bumper crop we got a couple of years ago. I guess that's what happens when it's rainy and cloudy for most of June and July. Oh well, there's always next year, I guess.

Utopian Kitchen said...

One of my favorite meals is cut-up fresh tomatoes, about 3 big ones or tons of cherry tomatoes. If they're fresh and ripe, you can't beat that snack! Your tomato looks delicious.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Oh there is nothing like a homegrown tomato. That dish looks absolutely beautiful!

Ms. T said...

your tomato is gorgeous!

Marcia said...

okay, that's a good looking tomato...we just have cherry tomatoes and romas in our garden. But we get the big heirlooms from the CSA! I've been eating a lot of open-faced tomato sandwiches.

I'm Philippa O said...

woah! beefy! i can't wait for our tomatoes this summer, though let's hope we can best the pests to them.....

Bjorn said...

What would be alternatives to using vermouth? White wine?

Oraphan said...

That looks fantastic! I love this recipe, sounds easy and delicious.
Wow! your tomato is so beautiful... lucky.. lucky you!!! :)
p.s. I'm jealous:P

bugbear said...

Try making Fried Green Tomatoes, they are super yummy.

You can do it with ripe tomatoes, too, and it's fantastic. Not at all a waste of a ripe tomato, the recipe adds another element to the fruit.

Anonymous said...

Nice meet you~!!
I'm a korean woman and I like to cook. so I'm visited your blogspot by chance.

I'm poor english but I'm doing study native speak english teacher.^^

tomato photo is very colorful.

And I'will visit your blog again.
Thank you.

bugbear said...

Have you ever made fried green tomatoes? A great dish to make with underripe tomatoes, and actually it makes a ripe tomato "pop" even more.

Just cut the green tomatoes in thick slices, coat them with a mixture of either wheat flour or corn flour (really, any kind of flour would work) and black pepper and salt, and pan-fry the "breaded" slices in oil (I use olive oil).

It's super yummy and quick. I have been known to treat eggplant slices (about 3/8 inch thick) the same way but they soak up a lot more oil than the tomatoes.

Anonymous said...

Nice meet you~!!
I'm a korean woman and I like to cook. so I'm visited your blogspot by chance.

I'm poor english but I'm doing study native speak english teacher.^^

tomato photo is very colorful.

And I'will visit your blog again.
Thank you.

taleoftwovegans said...

Wow, thats one beauty of a tomato! Sadly, my tomatoes haven't fared to well this year. Decent output of flowers but the two inch tomatoes I have been getting dont really qualify as 'beefsteak' tomatoes in my mind...

Vegan Dad said...

White wine could work, or just veggie broth. It won't be quite the same, but still good.

Carolyn said...

Ah, the frustrations of tomato growing. Maybe determinate varieties are the way to go with a shorter growing season. If you stagger the seed and/or transplant planting, you might be able to simulate the longer production period of an indeterminate tomato (such as a beefsteak).

Nevertheless, that is a BEAUTIFUL tomato (kudos from someone with a long growing season, but nearly total shade in the garden, hence few tomatoes)!