Recipe: Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil, Capers and Olives, Larrapin Style

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 | Comments Off on Recipe: Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil, Capers and Olives, Larrapin Style

Turns out that extended heat and drought will put me into a kind of hibernation as certainly as a rainy winter. Luckily this cool week of stunningly beautiful weather and even a couple of small rains has me coming back to my senses, puttering out in the garden and speaking in full sentences again!  How better to celebrate the senses than a recipe that really shows off the fresh flavors of your heirloom tomatoes? I love that the tomatoes are uncooked in this, so it showcases the taste of summer sunshine in the tomatoes.

I took a recipe found in the most excellent cookbook Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World’s Healthiest Cuisine by Martha Rose Shulman and adapted it a bit…by adding some of  sliced grilled sausage and putting it all over gluten-free pasta. I didn’t have any parsley, thanks to ravenous grasshopper plague…but it was yummy without it. Also, since I used sausage, I skipped the feta and just sprinkled parmesean slivers over the top.  This is an easy to adapt recipe perfect for summer garden bounty….but be sure you have capers on hand!!  I knew I’d entered a new phase in cooking life when capers moved over to the “kitchen staples” list…haha.

P.S. If you don’t have your own tomatoes growing, or a supply of delicious and humanely-raised beef or pork sausages, or you need some fresh basil or amazing kalamata olives, you’ll find plenty for pre-order down at the Green Fork Farmers Market on Wednesdays 4-7 in the breezeway of Nightbird Books on Dickson Street in Fayetteville….WHICH is where I happened also to buy this cookbook! <end of shameless plug for my favorite farmers & bookstores> 🙂

Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil, Capers and Olives, Larrapin Style

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut into bite sized pieces or with cherry tomatoes, halved. See tomato note below. 
2 Tbsp capers, drained
2/3 cup halved or chopped black or kalamata olives
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Pasta of your choice (I used gluten free noodles) 
Grated fresh parmesean slivers (or feta, per the original recipe) 
3 TBSP minced fresh flat-leaved parsley
Grilled or browned mild sausage or brautwurst links, cut into bite-sided coins
Directions: Combine olive oil, chopped tomatoes*, capers, olives, basil, parsley if are using, salt/pepper in a large bowl and let sit 30 minutes or longer.   
*Note: my large tomatoes were pretty juicy, so I sliced them in half—where their ‘equator’ would be—and gave each a good squeeze over the sink before chopping into bite-sized pieces. This will remove quite a bit of juice and this turned out to be a great idea. Cherry tomatoes work great unsqueezed!)
 Grill sausage if you are using (or brown in a skillet).  Prepare your pasta al dente, drain.  You have two options from here: Top the pasta on each plate with the beautiful sauce. Top with parmesean (or feta) to taste. Serve hot or room temp.  Or, per the original recipe, you toss it all at once as soon as you drain the pasta, and then serve hot or at room temp. Either way you do it, the room temp version is delicious and refreshing on a hot afternoon. The next day, the leftovers were quite yummy after microwaving, so there you go! 

Mendy gave this recipe the official “keeper” stamp of approval, meaning it goes in my keeper-list of experimental recipes. That means it’s real good…which means it’s Larrapin!!  But you already knew that if you are reading this blog. Have a wonderful week (but keep praying for rain too). Thanks for stopping by.

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—A Larrapin Garden.  Please  subscribe to get blog posts by email  (once a week, max). You can also get bonus links, giveaways and recipes by “liking” the Facebook page or following on Twitter.  And if you are in the Fayetteville, Arkansas area, you can share the garden’s bounty via Green Fork Farmers Market—an online & drop-by market on Wednesdays featuring all naturally-grown products.



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