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Video: Tomato season begins

updated 4/6/2005 4:25:07 PM ET 2005-04-06T20:25:07

One bite into a juicy tomato and you're reminded of warm weather and summer picnics. Chef David Burke, executive chef at David Burke & Donatella in New York City, was invited on the “Today” show to share his creative spring-themed tomato recipes that are sure to be a hit.

Tomato Watermelon Salad With Prosciutto
2 tomatoes cut in wedges of six, and then into twelfths
1 wedge each, red and yellow watermelon, cut into balls (with melon baller)
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 cup orange juice, plus zest of one orange
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
6 thin slices of prosciutto, baked in oven until crisp, then broken into wedges, as garnish

Toss tomatoes and melon together with other ingredients (except prosciutto chips). Let marinate for an hour. Plate with lettuce leaves and thinly sliced cucumber. Place prosciutto chips on top.

Gazpacho With Shrimp Quesadilla
For the gazpacho
5 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cucumber peeled, seeded, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons coarse or kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup olive oil or tomato oil

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Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until finely pureed. 

For the shrimp quesadilla
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 eggs
1 tablespoon coarse or kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded jalapeno jack cheese
16 (6-inch) flour or corn tortillas
Vegetable oil for cooking

Place shrimp in a food processor and puree roughly. Add eggs, salt, and pepper, and continue processing until puree is fairly smooth. Spoon shrimp puree in a bowl and fold in cheese. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Reserve.

Using a 1-1/2 inch cookie cutter, cut tortillas into small rounds.

Place half of the tortilla rounds on a board or platter, and spoon 1 tablespoon of shrimp mixture on each of the tortillas. Top with remaining tortilla rounds. Place quesadillas in fridge and chill for 30 minutes. Lightly oil a griddle or sauté pan, preferably with a nonstick surface. Cook quesadillas over low heat, turning until they’re crisp and golden on both sides. Using a slotted spatula, remove quesadillas from griddle or pan and drain on paper towels.

Minute Steak With Pickled Tomatoes
1 (4-ounce) sirloin steak
4 small red tomatoes, pickled
2 cups white wine vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/2 bunch mint, chopped

Poke tomatoes with skewer in several places to create holes, soak overnight in the rest of the ingredients.

Grill steak until desired consistency (quickly on hot grill). Place tomatoes on grill to warm them through. Serve like barbecue. 

Funky Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich
White bread (8 slices for 4 sandwiches)
Jalapeño jack cheese
Sliced tomatoes
Chorizo, sautéed crispy
Chorizo oil
Black olive puree

Place sliced jack cheese and sliced tomatoes in between two slices of bread like a traditional grilled cheese. Butter each side, cook until melted inside and cut into two halves. Put black olive puree on the edge of plate and a little chorizo oil for dipping; add chopped parsley to garnish.

Asparagus Stuffed Tomato With Goat Cheese Gratin
4 tomatoes, peeled by dipping in hot boiling water and chilling
16 asparagus spears, peeled and blanched
4 good size disks of goat cheese

With a long sharp boning knife, make incisions in tomato and skewer four pieces of asparagus through each tomato. Make four incisions that go through each end of the asparagus to another. Marinate with basil oil, salt, pepper, and fresh chopped basil leaves. Top with the goat cheese and place in baking dish. Put in oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and tomato is warm inside. Place on a round crouton of toast with simple salad greens and serve with black olive tapenade or puree and basil oil.

Tomato Mozzarella Stack With Tuna Salad Fritters and Balsamic Syrup
4 large tomatoes, sliced
12 to 16 ounces fresh mozzarella
1 to 2 large zucchini, cut lengthwise, as thinly as possible (or in thin disks)
1 can tuna salad, with mayonnaise
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Make tuna and zucchini fritters: At the end of each zucchini strip, put a spoonful of tuna salad; roll up, seal with egg wash, and bread each fritter with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, and reserve. Makes 12 to 16. Pan fry, season with salt and pepper, and reserve.

Slice the tomato and mozzarella around the same size, making 3 to 4 slices per person of each. Make a stack starting with tomato, then mozzarella, chives, etc, until the shoulders of the tomato rest on top. Secure these with three long bamboo skewers per stack. On top place more herbs and 3 tuna fritters each. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Recipes courtesy of David Burke


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