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50 Shades of Tomatoes

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
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I have five varieties of tomatoes growing in my community garden plot. Photo by Stephanie Singer

Yes, it's finally that time of year:

Tomato Season!!

This year's wacky weather hasn't stopped my tomatoes from bursting at the seams.

In my plot, I have five varietials, but the cherry heirlooms are my favorite because they're green and maroon tie-dyed. (Really, I'd enjoy anything edible that's naturally tie-dyed.)

Tomatoes are a wonderfully versatile fruit, adding their sweet flavor uncooked to salads or cooked down to a sauce. After harvesting a few handfuls and pruning my basil plant, I decided to make an easy pesto pasta salad topped with ... you guessed it ... fresh tomatoes!

Here's my recipe:


1 1-lb. box of dried pasta

Enough water for a 5-quart stockpot

9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup basil

6 teaspoons pine nuts (you can substitute walnuts)

4 garlic cloves 

1 cup pecorino cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1 dozen cherry tomatoes, halved


1) Boil water and cook pasta according to directions on the box. After pasta is cooked al dente, drain and toss in a large mixing bowl with 3 tablespoons olive oil to coat.

2) Place basil, nuts, garlic, cheese and remaining olive oil into food processor or blender. Process until mixture turns bright green and is just coming together, being sure to scrape down sides of processor. Add salt to taste. 

3) Mix pesto with pasta, cover bowl and put into refrigerator.

4) After about 20 minutes (or longer), remove chilled pasta. Gently add tomatoes to pasta. Serve immediately, with plenty of freshly coarse-ground black pepper and a wedge of pecorino for grating additional cheese on top of pasta.

So fresh,

The Bubbi Project

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