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Tomatoes. No stops, no animals.

A vegetarian friend of mine invited me to his birthday dinner in a few days. He's an awesome guy and deserves the best he can get (he also has solid culinary training, although that wouldn't affect my mission either way). The dinner is a tomato themed potluck. I prefer good tomatoes solo, raw, unembellished, but I know that I can't show up that way. I imagine the usual suspects (salads, especially caprese, gazpacho, sauces on pasta, etc) will be covered. Any recommendations for new territory? I have a couple sources for good dark princes, striped germans and brandywines that I can hit up the day before.

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  1. An excellent gazpacho would showcase the tomatoes around right now. Keep everything (cucumber, red onion, croutons) teeny tiny, and use good olive oil.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rabaja

      Woops, just saw gazpacho will likely be done by others. The tart sounds delicious!

        1. re: ipsedixit

          OK, I vote for the tomato ice cream. Also, a link from the same pub, Tomato and Cucumber jelly with salmon caviar. Sounds dreadful, but intriguing. If anyone tries it, please report back.

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/a...

          ~TDQ

            1. re: Yes Please

              Oh, I like the gelato idea even better than the ice cream, although, I notice it only got 3 out of 4 forks on Epicurious...

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Yes, I noticed too! Good eye! But I still decided to post it because I saw that 2 of 3 reviews were 4 forks and the last one was 1 fork, based on the ricotta gelato. (the recipe is technically for tomato, basil and ricotta gelato. 3 separate flavors though, not a blend)

                1. re: Yes Please

                  Oh, I missed that detail! I guess I didn't read the recipe very carefully (or at all), I just liked the idea of it. Still sounds intriguing though! Right now, I have a lot of basil and a lot of tomatoes!

                  ~TDQ

            1. re: LaLa

              I agree. Here is Sara Moulton's Tomato Pie which is fantastic. You can of course blind bake your own crust. I find a good whole wheat crust is just lovely with this and people will clamor for the recipe and seconds. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sa...

            2. This is just wonderful:

              TOMATO BREAD PUDDING

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              Also, if you are daring, I once had a tomato tasting menu in Chicago at Tru. The salad course was sliced tomatoes with garlic sorbet. It was incredible.

              1. It may be kind of a Southern thing but how about tomato sanwiches. There's something special about the simplicity (& of course taste) of simple tomato sandwiches with just good toasted bread and tomatoes, salt and pepper and some mayo.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Den

                  Your reference to a southern thing makes me think fried green tomatoes might be a welcome addition to the party, though they're not necessarily friendly to being made ahead.

                  Honestly, one of my favorite simple things to do with good tomatoes, not already covered here, is to roast them. usually I like it best with halved cherry or grape tomatoes. Really concentrates the sweetness and can accompany something more exciting (in our case fish but not sure your vegetarian includes or excludes fish).

                2. How about gutted and stuffed with a nice grain salad like tabbouleh? It'll show off your beautiful heritage tomatoes. If your vegetarian eats dairy, cherry tomatoes gutted and stuffed with a smokey gouda or cheddar stuffing make great appetizers. I've also done gutted cherry tomatoes by placing a basil leaf vertically pointed end up in the cherry cup, held in place with a small cube of smoked mozz stuffed in, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and coarse black pepper.