Your tastiest raw tomato dishes

Salads and pastas, yes, but let us introduce you to perhaps the greatest tomato sandwich ever

Topics: Kitchen Challenge, Food,

Your tastiest raw tomato dishes

Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST — with photos and your story behind the dish — and we’ll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) Please note that by participating, you’re giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it’s chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.

This week, we asked for your most lively raw-ish tomato dish.

THIS WEEK’S WINNER:

Tomato-rubbed Mediterranean Tuna Sandwich by Linda Shiue: This week, Linda tells us a lovely story of the importance of befriending even intimidating neighbors, both because it’s the right thing to do, and because they might give you their homegrown tomatoes and tell you how to make this awe-inspiring Maltese specialty of tomato-rubbed toast topped with all manner of good things — tuna, hard-boiled eggs, olives, herbs, onion and olive oil.

THIS WEEK’S CATEGORY WINNERS:

In the Plain, but not Plain-Old category:

The complexities of a simple tomato salad by Gavin Fritton: There may be seemingly nothing to making tomato salad, but when you’re in the hands of a man passionate about tomatoes, you’ll find all kinds of techniques to find enlightenment. Not a recipe per se, but an intense walk-through of everything you need to know from how to peel tomatoes to the importance of salt.

In the Tomato-Cucumber Salad category:

Farmer’s Tomato Cucumber Salad With Creamy Dressing by Grace Hwang: Inspired by a rather odd afternoon in a potato farmer’s home, Grace keeps one eye on the Mediterranean for this salad and one eye on Idaho, blending yogurt and mayonnaise with vinegar and dill for an intriguing dressing.

In the Pasta category:



Spaghetti With Fresh Tomato and Fontina Cheese by Lucy Mercer: There is definitely a school of thought that says, “When the tomatoes are good, just let them be,” and this pasta is a testament to that: cut, left to marinate with garlic, basil and creamy cheese, it becomes its own sauce for pasta without any cooking at all.

PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE EXCELLENT HONORABLE MENTIONS

Tomato Bread (aka Bruschetta, if you must be fancy) by Coogansbluf: Not to denigrate this classic snack, but Coogs is laying it down this week for anyone who’s ever not made it because its Italian name makes it sound difficult. It’s tomato bread, and it’s as simple as that. (Especially if you know the trick he shares with using a grater to quickly peel and chop them.)

Summer pesto with tomatoes by Felisa Rogers: As simple and classic a dish as can be, Felisa’s pasta with fresh pesto tossed with ripe tomatoes is irresistible … as in, we’re taking a break to make some now.

Pizza by At Home Pilgrim: In a detailed and illustrated post (too many photos, in fact, to re-post comfortably in Salon!), the At Home Pilgrim teaches us how to make pizza from the ground up. 

Tahini-stuffed tomatoes by Fusun Atalay: The Mediterranean sesame paste called tahini is usually used as a condiment, but here, Fusun mixes it with lemon juice to form a rich stuffing for cherry tomatoes.

Variations on a tomato sandwich theme by Lori Covington: In the matter of the ‘mater sandwich, are you a butter, mayonnaise or cheese kind of person? Any way is OK; we won’t judge.

Grilled Tomato Relish for Steak by Lisa Kuebler: If you’ve got the grill going for a steak anyway, why not let a little char take care of the sauce for you? Here, Lisa shows us how to simply grill a bit of tomato and onion for flavor, mix it up into a tart relish, and use it to enliven meat.

Tomato salad with goat cheese, almonds and blueberries by Sheba Marx: If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be traumatized by a raw tomato, Sheba’s Catholic school child-self is happy to tell you. Psychic healing all finished, though, here’s also a lovely, simple tomato salad.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE:

Thanks so much for all of your gently handled tomato recipes last week! But of course, the glories of the fruit aren’t only to be found when raw. And come later in the summer, when the crop is heavy and they’re all around, it’ll be time to think about what you’re going to do with pounds and pounds of the stuff, and there will be no avoiding a hot kitchen. Thoughts will turn to cooked sauces and stews. Some for canning, some for freezing, and some for serving with a wink that says, “Yes, it’s 150 degrees out, and yes, I just stood over a stove for hours to make this for you.”

So this week, as promised and/or threatened, please: your finest slow-cooked tomato sauces, stews or whatever you come up with, as long as the tomato gets nice and concentrated.

Be sure to tag your posts: SKC cooked tomato (Please note that by participating, you’re giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it’s chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you’d like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)

Scoring and winning

Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and tomatoliciousness. 

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët
    Kerascoët's lovely, delicate pen-and-watercolor art -- all intricate botanicals, big eyes and flowing hair -- gives this fairy story a deceptively pretty finish. You find out quickly, however, that these are the heartless and heedless fairies of folk legend, not the sentimental sprites beloved by the Victorians and Disney fans. A host of tiny hominid creatures must learn to survive in the forest after fleeing their former home -- a little girl who lies dead in the woods. The main character, Aurora, tries to organize the group into a community, but most of her cohort is too capricious, lazy and selfish to participate for long. There's no real moral to this story, which is refreshing in itself, beyond the perpetual lessons that life is hard and you have to be careful whom you trust. Never has ugly truth been given a prettier face.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
    Squarzoni is a French cartoonist who makes nonfiction graphic novels about contemporary issues and politics. While finishing up a book about France under Jacques Chirac, he realized that when it came to environmental policy, he didn't know what he was talking about. "Climate Changed" is the result of his efforts to understand what has been happening to the planet, a striking combination of memoir and data that ruminates on a notoriously elusive, difficult and even imponderable subject. Panels of talking heads dispensing information (or Squarzoni discussing the issues with his partner) are juxtaposed with detailed and meticulous yet lyrical scenes from the author's childhood, the countryside where he takes a holiday and a visit to New York. He uses his own unreachable past as a way to grasp the imminent transformation of the Earth. The result is both enlightening and unexpectedly moving.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Here by Richard McGuire
    A six-page version of this innovative work by a regular contributor to the New Yorker first appeared in RAW magazine 25 years ago. Each two-page spread depicts a single place, sometimes occupied by a corner of a room, over the course of 4 billion years. The oldest image is a blur of pink and purple gases; others depict hazmat-suited explorers from 300 years in the future. Inset images show the changing decor and inhabitants of the house throughout its existence: family photos, quarrels, kids in Halloween costumes, a woman reading a book, a cat walking across the floor. The cumulative effect is serene and ravishing, an intimation of the immensity of time and the wonder embodied in the humblest things.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer
    The legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist delivers his debut graphic novel at 85, a deliriously over-the-top blend of classic movie noir and melodrama that roams from chiaroscuro Bay City to Hollywood to a USO gig in the Pacific theater of World War II. There's a burnt-out drunk of a private eye, but the story is soon commandeered by a multigenerational collection of ferocious women, including a mysterious chanteuse who never speaks, a radio comedy writer who makes a childhood friend the butt of a hit series and a ruthless dame intent on making her whiny coward of a husband into a star. There are disguises, musical numbers and plenty of gunfights, but the drawing is the main attraction. Nobody convey's bodies in motion more thrillingly than Feiffer, whether they're dancing, running or duking it out. The kid has promise.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis
    This is a weird one, but in the nervy surreal way that word-playful novels like "A Clockwork Orange" or "Ulysses" are weird. The main character, a teenage schoolboy named Scarper Lee, lives in a world where it rains knives and people make their own parents, contraptions that can be anything from a tiny figurine stashable in a pocket to biomorphic boiler-like entities that seem to have escaped from Dr. Seuss' nightmares. Their homes are crammed with gadgets they call gods and instead of TV they watch a hulu-hoop-size wheel of repeating images that changes with the day of the week. They also know their own "death day," and Scarper's is coming up fast. Maybe that's why he runs off with the new girl at school, a real troublemaker, and the obscurely dysfunctional Castro, whose mother is a cageful of talking parakeets. A solid towline of teenage angst holds this manically inventive vision together, and proves that some graphic novels can rival the text-only kind at their own game.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    NOBROW 9: It's Oh So Quiet
    For each issue, the anthology magazine put out by this adventurous U.K.-based publisher of independent graphic design, illustration and comics gives 45 artists a four-color palette and a theme. In the ninth issue, the theme is silence, and the results are magnificent and full of surprises. The comics, each told in images only, range from atmospheric to trippy to jokey to melancholy to epic to creepy. But the two-page illustrations are even more powerful, even if it's not always easy to see how they pertain to the overall concept of silence. Well, except perhaps for the fact that so many of them left me utterly dumbstruck with visual delight.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Over Easy by Mimi Pond
    When Pond was a broke art student in the 1970s, she took a job at a neighborhood breakfast spot in Oakland, a place with good food, splendid coffee and an endlessly entertaining crew of short-order cooks, waitresses, dishwashers and regular customers. This graphic memoir, influenced by the work of Pond's friend, Alison Bechdel, captures the funky ethos of the time, when hippies, punks and disco aficionados mingled in a Bay Area at the height of its eccentricity. The staff of the Imperial Cafe were forever swapping wisecracks and hopping in and out of each other's beds, which makes them more or less like every restaurant team in history. There's an intoxicating esprit de corps to a well-run everyday joint like the Imperial Cafe, and never has the delight in being part of it been more winningly portrayed.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
    You don't have to be a superhero fan to be utterly charmed by Yang and Liew's revival of a little-known character created in the 1940s by the cartoonist Chu Hing. This version of the Green Turtle, however, is rich in characterization, comedy and luscious period detail from the Chinatown of "San Incendio" (a ringer for San Francisco). Hank, son of a mild-mannered grocer, would like to follow in his father's footsteps, but his restless mother (the book's best character and drawn with masterful nuance by Liew) has other ideas after her thrilling encounter with a superhero. Yang's story effortlessly folds pathos into humor without stooping to either slapstick or cheap "darkness." This is that rare tribute that far surpasses the thing it celebrates.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Shoplifter by Michael Cho
    Corinna Park, former English major, works, unhappily, in a Toronto advertising agency. When the dissatisfaction of the past five years begins to oppress her, she lets off steam by pilfering magazines from a local convenience store. Cho's moody character study is as much about city life as it is about Corinna. He depicts her falling asleep in front of the TV in her condo, brooding on the subway, roaming the crowded streets after a budding romance goes awry. Like a great short story, this is a simple tale of a young woman figuring out how to get her life back, but if feels as if it contains so much of contemporary existence -- its comforts, its loneliness, its self-deceptions -- suspended in wintery amber.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
    This collection of archetypal horror, fairy and ghost stories, all about young girls, comes lushly decked in Carroll's inky black, snowy white and blood-scarlet art. A young bride hears her predecessor's bones singing from under the floorboards, two friends make the mistake of pretending to summon the spirits of the dead, a family of orphaned siblings disappears one by one into the winter nights. Carroll's color-saturated images can be jagged, ornate and gruesome, but she also knows how to chill with absence, shadows and a single staring eye. Literary readers who cherish the work of Kelly Link or the late Angela Carter's collection, "The Bloody Chamber," will adore the violent beauty on these pages.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>