Giada's summer tomato recipes: Strata, burgers and jam

Tomatoes can be more than just a blase garnish. Here, Giada De Laurentiis shares unexpected recipes to make the most of this summer staple, including a goat cheese and tomato strata, grilled tomatoes on burgers and strawberry-tomato jam.

Fresh tomato and goat cheese strata with herb oil
Servings:

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

    • 3 large tomatoes
    • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • Goat cheese filling

    • 1/4 cup cream
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Herb oil

    • 3/4 cup fresh mint
    • 3/4 cup fresh basil
    • 1 cup olive oil
    • Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Baking Directions:

For the filling: Combine the goat cheese and cream in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture until light and fluffy. Season with the salt and pepper. Set aside. For the herb oil: Place the mint and basil in a food processor. Pulse until the herbs are roughly chopped. With the machine running, add the oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside. To serve: Using a serrated knife, cut the tomatoes into 1/2 to 3/4-inch slices. Place half of the tomato slices on salad plates. Top each tomato with a spoonful of the goat cheese filling. Place the remaining tomato slices on top. Spoon the remaining goat cheese filling on top of the tomato slices. Drizzle each strata with the Herb Oil and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Beef burgers with grilled tomatoes
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground chuck
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 beef steak tomatoes, just slightly under ripe is ideal
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 4 oz gorgonzola cheese
    • 4 (4-inch) square or round ciabatta or your favorite burger bun, halved horizontally
    • 1 cup fresh arugula

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Combine the ground chuck, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Shape the mixture into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Slice the tomatoes into ½ inch rounds and place on a baking tray. Season both sides with the paprika and remaining salt. Rub with the olive oil to coat. Prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill the burgers until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. On a clean, oiled area of the grill, grill the tomatoes until just charred, about 3 minutes per side. Grill the ciabatta squares cut side down, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Place the burgers on the bottom half of the ciabatta. Top each burger with 2 tablespoons gorgonzola and a grilled tomato slice. Arrange a handful of arugula on each. Cover the burger with the roll tops and serve.

Tomato and strawberry jam
Servings:

Makes about 1 ¾ cups

Ingredients

    • 4 cups diced beefsteak tomatoes (approximately 2 large tomatoes or 1 pound)
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Place the diced tomatoes in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the berries, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine and return to a simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, over medium low heat for 40-45 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and has the consistency of loose jam. Stir in the lemon juice and cool completely. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to a week.

Serving Directions:

Serving suggestions:Spooned over vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with toasted slivered almondsOn a crostini as a topping on goat cheeseOn a bagel with mascarponeStirred into oatmeal

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