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Video: Tomatoes 101: Know your Romas from your red vines

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    >>> and we're back on a wednesday morning. we're cooking with giada today. today contributor giada de laurentiis . do you know the difference between a roma or a grapevine? o a cherry?

    >> do you?

    >> no. giada has great tomato recipes. good to see you. what's the basic we need to know .

    >> all right. this can get a little overwhelming but this is the time of year for tomatoes. depending on where you shop, farmer's market, grocery stores , this is what you'll find. these are cherry tomatoes. they're super sweet right now. i make a fresh salsa or fresh tomato sauce . roma tomatoes you can find them all year round. make a red sauce or add red wine to them. then you have grape tomatoes which are great to pop in your mouth as a snack or roast them in the oven and make a big pot of them and serve them with meats or fish. heirloom tomatoes . colorful, beautiful, they're still good. these are great for salads. i like to grill it and put on burgers.

    >> is there a go to tomato that works in the most number of recipes? probably heirlooms.

    >> yeah but you can't find them all year round and they're super expensive. so i would say these.

    >> do you ever refrigerate them?

    >> no it ruins the texture and kills the flavor. on your counter but not in direct sunlight.

    >> tomato and goat cheese .

    >> layers in any italian. i'm not going to make you get your hands dirty matt but you slice a tomato. it makes it easier to cut through the tomato. what you do is you add a piece of tomato and mix goat cheese with cream to soften it. spread it out like that. then you do another slice of tomato right on top and then you do a little bit more goat cheese . you get the idea.

    >> right and i make herb oil to make it colorful. mint and basel together. very, very simple. very refreshing. very summertime.

    >> olive oil .

    >> ground salt and pepper .

    >> why don't you do that.

    >> love that.

    >> there you go. mix it all together. you can do this ahead of time. i hate this thing.

    >> that's okay. it comes out looking like that.

    >> so basically, then you drizzle over the the top. and you can see that the color is beautiful. a little bit of nuts for crunch.

    >> now we're going to grill tomatoes.

    >> beefsteak. you want them firm. you can season them if you want to and then just grill them and then put them over the burger. you have grilled tomatoes and a little bit of arugula.

    >> that's one of the greatest looking burgers.

    >> you can use whatever bread you like. i like i talian bread.

    >> you have tomatoes and strawberries.

    >> if you buy a ton of tomatoes use any tomato you want.

    >> come in. don't be afraid. hello ladies and gentleman.

    >> thank you.

    >> we have a ton left over so i cook them and make a jam. tomato and strawberry jam . add a little sugar, a little cinnamon, a little salt and let me juice. cook it down for 45 minutes. it becomes a jam just like this and you can serve it over ice cream , over yogurt for breakfast in the morning. could you put it on toast or is that crazy.

    >> oh, darling.

    >> i didn't even plan that.

    >> you can put it on a weighbagel.

    >> and eat it like that.

    >> it looks great.

    >> it tastes great.

    >> i like that also tomato and watermelons.

    >> this is your favorite.

    >> the burger. how do you beat the burger? much more ahead. coming up, getting back on your feet after an unexpected life turn. [ music playing ]

    >>> a great crowd enjoying a

TODAY recipes
updated 7/30/2013 5:08:03 PM ET 2013-07-30T21:08:03

Recipe: Fresh tomato and goat cheese strata with herb oil

  • 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

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.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe: Beef burgers with grilled tomatoes

  • 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

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.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Tomato and strawberry jam

  • 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

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 suggestions:

  • Spooned over vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with toasted slivered almonds
  • On a crostini as a topping on goat cheese
  • On a bagel with mascarpone
  • Stirred into oatmeal
Serving Size

Makes about 1 ¾ cups

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