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Foodie Friday - Attack of the 5 Gallon Bucket of Tomatoes

As many of you know, my dad is an amazing organic gardener. He's currently enjoying his 80th year around the sun and he's been a master gardener since before I was born. During the cooler months, he lives with me and my family in Tulsa, but during the summer, he stays at his little fisherman's cottage on Grand Lake in northeast Oklahoma. Besides dropping a pole into the lake whenever word gets out that the sand bass, Mississippi whites or crappie are biting, my dad is the infamous village handyman and he rocks a tight, mean & totally green organic garden.  This week he came to the big city to visit yours truly and he was bearing gifts! 
So, what do you do when life hands you a 5 gallon bucket of ripe, homegrown organic tomatoes, a few eggplants, some jalapeños and a bouquet of basil?  This is what I did:

Dirty Summer-Tini

3 - 4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 small cucumber, peeled
2 stalks celery
1 jalapeño, seeded
1 lime, peeled
splash of nama shoyu or coconut aminos
a dash of hot sauce
freshly cracked pepper
Push the tomatoes, cucumber, celery, jalapeño and lime through a juicer. Chill or pour into a cocktail shaker containing crushed ice, adding nama shoyu & hot sauce. Shake until well chilled and pour into a chilled martini glass.  Add a few olives on a toothpick or skewer and garnish with freshly cracked pepper. 

My Dad's Salsa

3 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup white or yellow onion, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped (use less if you like it more mild)
1 -2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon raw agave nectar
pinch cumin
pinch chili powder
Smoked sea salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Season with additional sea salt if desired and serve with corn chips.

Greek Tomato Salad

For the Dressing:
1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon each, fresh basil & mint
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of freshly cracked black pepper

Put all the ingredients into a blender and whirl until well emulsified. This dressing will keep in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for over a week.

For the Salad:
3 ripe garden tomatoes, chopped
1 small cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup sliced oil-cured ripe black olives
1/2 small red onion, sliced in rings
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 cups romaine or green leaf lettuce, torn

In a bowl combine the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion and parsley and then drizzle and toss with the dressing. Arrange the torn lettuce evenly on 4 chilled salad plates, and top evenly with the tomato mixture. Feel free to use raw cheese crumbles as a garnish, if desired.

Skewered Tomatoes with Basil Vinaigrette

For the tomatoes:
2 yellow tomatoes
2 red tomatoes
2 green tomatoes

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

Quarter tomatoes, thread onto skewers, alternating colors. Brush with a bit of the dressing and place into a warm dehydrator for 2 - 6 hours, depending on your preference.

Serve the tomato skewers with a bowl of the remaining dressing and garish with fresh basil.

Eggplant Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich w/ Thousand Island Dressing

For the Eggplant Bacon:
Several Japanese eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons umeboshi plum vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Mix together the dressing ingredients and marinate the sliced eggplant for at least one hour, making sure it is coated well. Place the marinated eggplant on lined dehydrator trays and reduce for 12 hours at 105 degrees. Turn the strips over and onto unlined mesh dehydrator trays to finish drying for another 8 - 12 hours.

For the Thousand Island Dressing:
2 small oranges, peeled and seeded
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 tablespoon Nama Shoyu or Coconut Aminos
1/4 cup cashew or almond butter
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
4 cloves garlic

Put all ingredients into a blender to process. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the Sandwich:
Essene Bread (Ezekiel or Manna) sliced
leaf lettuce
sliced ripe tomatoes
Eggplant Bacon

Build this sandwich to suit your own individual tastes. If you are 100% raw or gluten intolerant, use a gluten free, dehydrated bread/cracker instead of Ezekiel.

Basil Tomato & Watermelon Granita

6 cups fresh watermelon, seeded
2 cups fresh ripe tomatoes
small handful fresh basil
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
pinch sea salt

In a blender, combine the watermelon and tomatoes until well combined, strain. Pour the strained mixture back into the blender and add the basil, lime juice, agave and salt, whirling until combined. Pour the liquid into a chilled 9 x 12 inch glass baking dish and put immediately into the freezer. Using a fork, every hour rake the freezing mixture to create an Italian ice type consistency. This will likely take 6 hours +. Serve in a chilled serving bowl and garnish with a fresh basil sprig.

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Everything looks sooo refreshing on this warm summer day! : )
I will join you on the back patio for a delicious supper!
You outdid yourself today, Penni!
You took ordinary tomatoes and turned them into CELEBRITIES!
OMGoshness! So refreshing! I LOVE that photo of you and your Dad Penni. He's very fit for his age. Nice. And the TOE-MAY-TOE video is a hOOt!!!
I love you!!!! Thanks for being you!!!
Lovin' these, thanks Penni, and thank your Daddy to for bringing you all the fresh organic tomatoes! Great photo........
It all looks absolutely amazing! Wow!!!
very very Rawesome! I love the pic of you and your Dad ..made me miss mine, He lives in Massachusetts and LOVES to cook! so many wonderful recipes to try! Sweet! I will test them out when I get back from Chicago. Loved the Tomato video , Scott even laffed...well We love you Penni and everyone have a fun and safe weekend, I'll be back Wednesday, hopefully still down in weight lol.. Take care and God bless!
Wow, what a spread! It all looks so beautiful.
(Love the pic of you and your dad -- so sweet)
ZOWIE PENNI! Wonderful! This is my entire weekend meal plan. Some tomatoes are ripe on the vine in the Holloway Garden, so here we go!

You are such an incredible woman, and you just keep amazing me!
I was very touched with that photo of you and your dad, as you can feel the love between you!
I was not in a very good mood today. Not until I saw you and your dad and all the great recipes. I feel much better now. Thanks
Beautiful recipes. Perfect for the hot summer weather. Thank you
thanks for the recipes, i can't wait to try them!

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