Tag Archives: tomato

AllSpice at Tomato Festival This Saturday

Heirloom_Baby_TomatoesThis Saturday, September 2, AllSpice Owners Rory and Andy are going to Ted Lare Design Build and Garden Center to participate in their Tomato Fest!

AllSpice will be there from 2pm to 5pm, sampling and selling some AllSpice favorites. Rory has made some of our Tomato Jam to sample,  and we will be sampling “Caprese on a Stick”* as well.

The event spotlights local growers and artists and merchants, and will include:

  • A Tomato Tasting of 20+ heirloom varieties of tomatoes, with customers voting for their favorite one.
  • Jeff Naples, aka “The Beard Behind the Bar,” will mixing up samples of tomato-inspired drinks.
  • There will also be a salsa contest, a coloring contest, and farmers market vendors on site, too.

We would so love to see our readers there!


*Caprese on a Stick = heirloom cherry tomato + fresh basil + mozzarella on a skewer, drizzled with your favorite Balsamic Vinegar for good measure


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Sun Dried Tomatoes

Identifiable by their oblong shape, Roma or other varieties of “paste” tomato are more fleshy, and less juicy, than slicing tomatoes, making them a great pick for making sauces and for dehydrating.


3 lbs Roma or “paste” tomatoes

Preheat oven to 170°F.  While the oven heats, slice tomatoes in half, lengthwise. Remove tomato stems and core the fruits (pro tip: Wusthof’s tomato knife is fantastic, and well worth the investment). Arrange cored tomato halves, cut side up, on a nonreactive baking sheet or oven-proof ceramic dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Cook tomatoes in low-heat oven 6 – 8 hours, checking periodically. Tomatoes are done when there is no visible moisture or gel; fruits will have a pliable but not spongy texture. As juiciness and size of tomatoes will vary, some tomatoes may be ready before others. Remove “sun”-dried tomatoes from baking dish to a cool plate and allow to cool completely.

Once cooled, the dried tomatoes can be stored in a resealable bag and stored in the freezer, where they will keep almost indefinitely.

Or, if you like your sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (or you just love the added treat of your own tomato-infused oil), layer dried tomatoes in a clean, lidded jar.  Pour olive oil over tomatoes until just covered. Lightly press on tomatoes to remove any air bubbles, and screw lid on tightly. Store at room temperature.

AllSpicer Chad says: sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, beg for fresh herbs and garlic. If you choose to make any additions to the jar, store your oil mixture in the refrigerator and use within three weeks.

From the kitchen of AllSpicer Chad.

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Asparagus, Tomato and Feta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette


6 Tbsp Black Currant Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 Cup Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 lbs fresh asparagus (preferably medium thickness), tough ends trimmed, remaining stalks diced into 2″ pieces
1 (10.5 oz) pkg. grape tomatoes, halved
2/3 Cup chopped walnuts, toasted
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (scant 1 Cup)


Set a large pot of water to a boil over high heat on the stove. While you wait for the water to boil, prepare the vinaigrette: add vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow liquid to boil until volume is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Pour reduction into a jar or bowl, and add the olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, and garlic. Whisk or shake mixture to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Add asparagus to boiling water and allow to boil until tender-crisp, about 4 – 5 minutes. While the asparagus cooks, fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and plenty of cold water. Drain and immediately plunge asparagus into the ice water. Allow stalks to “rest” for only about 10 seconds in the ice water, then drain asparagus well.

Transfer asparagus to a bowl with sliced tomatoes and toasted walnuts. Drizzle vinaigrette over top vegetables and lightly toss to coat vegetables with dressing. Sprinkle half of the feta over the dressed vegetables before serving, then top each serving with the remaining feta (just so the feta doesn’t brown from tossing with all the dressing).

Adapted from: Cooking Classy

Yield: About 7 servings

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Bloody Mary Bruschetta

zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp Arbequina Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Champagne Wine Vinegar
1 tsp each salt and black pepper
2 tsp Col. Pabst Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Hellraising Hot Sauce, or to taste
2 Tbsp prepared horseradish, divided
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp coarsely-chopped celery leaves
1/3 Cup mayonnaise (try making your own, see recipe here)
1/2 tsp Celery Seed
6 – 8 slices toasted sourdough or French bread
Celery Seed, Pickle Slices, lime wedges,and celery leaves for garnish

Make the tomato topping: In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and 1 Tbsp of the horseradish. Allow mixture to marinate 10 minutes, then stir in the sliced celery stalks and chopped celery leaves.

Make the horseradish spread: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and remaining tablespoon of horseradish, along with the celery seed.

Assemble the bruschetta: Spread each slice of toasted bread with the horseradish mayo mixture, then top with tomato mixture.

Garnish with celery seed, pickle slices, and celery leaves if desired.

Serve immediately.

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You say tomato, I say tomatl – fun facts about our favorite fruit (yes, fruit)


The tomato: it’s not what you think it is.  Second only to potatoes, the tomato is one of America’s favorite vegetables. But [spoiler alert] it’s not actually a vegetable. More on that in a minute.

Tomato love, by the numbers. Of American households that have a garden, over 90% are growing tomatoes, and August is peak Midwestern tomato-picking time. This makes us really happy.

Tomatoes_2013If you’re happy and you know it, eat some tomatoes. Let’s take a look back to national tomato-eating statistics: the USDA says that an average American eats about 22 – 24 lbs of tomatoes each year. Now, about three-fourths of that is in the form of processed tomato products stuff (and about half the tomatoes we consume are in the form of ketchup and salsa – that’s a lotta condiment you’re putting on your food!). But that still leaves a good 5 + pounds (on average) of fresh tomatoes that we each consume (on average).

And nothing tastes closer to heaven than the flavor of a fresh, local, ripe tomato. Which is available, in abundance, right now. We’re sort of like the Forest Gump of tomatoes, making tomato salad, tomato pizza, roasted tomatoes, tomato marmalade, tomato jam, tomato pesto and tomato bruschetta, pasta with tomato sauce, BLT sandwiches, and whatever else we can think of to pair with tomatoes.

While we go out to the garden to pick some more tomatoes, read on for some fun tomato trivia that amuses us, that we think you’ll enjoy, too:

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