Make Summer Staples Sensational

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Andrea DiMauro

Andrea DiMauro › Andrea is the Creative Director for Food Truth, an online resource that empowers eaters to walk ...


Summer is short and sweet. Even sweeter with so many sensational foods to cook and share. Yet somehow we still manage to tire of the summer staples we long for all year: tomatoes and zucchini. Impossible? We’ll see in August when you are composting those baseball bat-sized squash and cutting away chunks of spoil from beefsteak tomatoes you would have wrestled for in June. To avoid vegetable melancholy, use them in innovative ways allowing them to express all of their unique traits.

Here are some simple ways to make tomatoes and zucchini sensational again.

You’ll find my recipe for Tomato Tian below.

Try this alternative to the tomato sandwich.

Slice a ripe tomato in half horizontally and scoop out the seeds and the flesh with a spoon, making each half into a bowl. With a fork, mash the tomato seeds and flesh in a bowl with a can of drained tuna or sardines, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and salt & pepper. Fill each tomato “bowl” and top with an olive for a colorful lunch.

Zucchini is the new pasta.

Using a vegetable peeler or julienne slicer, peel long strands from top to bottom, turning the zucchini after each swipe, until you reach the seedy middle. Use raw or plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds to soften slightly and top with your favorite pasta sauce. Some favorites are Zucchini Fettuccine with a creamy pesto-Alfredo sauce and Fuhghetti Spaghetti with a fresh tomato-basil marinara. “Zoodles” are nutritious, low calorie and gluten-free  and they even sound like more fun!

Find these recipes and more inspiration in the Food Truth app – FREE in the App Store! All recipes are suitable for a Paleo Diet or gluten-free eating style.

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What do you make with tomatoes and zucchini when they are at their peak of flavor?

Photo credit: Craig McCord

For the Tomato Tian

3 medium tomatoes

2 medium zucchinis

1 narrow eggplant

1 tbsp each: fresh thyme, rosemary and basil leaves

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


For the Tomato Tian

Slice 3 medium tomatoes, 2 medium zucchinis and 1 narrow eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Salt the eggplant and drain on paper towels for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a food processor combine 1 tbsp each: fresh thyme, rosemary and basil leaves, 2 garlic cloves and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Layer the vegetables against each other in an oiled baking dish, alternating the tomatoes between the zucchini and eggplant. Sprinkle the herb mixture on top and drizzle with 1/2 cup olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until slightly browned and bubbly.

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