Tomatoes Galore

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Michael Chiarello provides some juicy tomato recipes for The Early Show's viewers from the NapaStyle site. These recipes for cocktails, salads and sides are sure to add some zest of freshness to food.

Yellow Tomato Virgin Bloody Maria
Yield six cocktails


3 pounds yellow tomatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
1-2 green jalapeno peppers, stem removed and cut into large pieces
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 ounce fennel spice rub
Six fennel fronds
Gray sea salt


In a stainless steel mixing bowl, toss the tomatoes with a little gray salt. Toss with the jalapeno pepper. Juice the mixture through a juice extractor then pour it into a pitcher. Refrigerate. This can be done up to six hours before serving.

Rub the top rims of the glasses with a lemon wedge, and dip the rims in a saucer filled with fennel spice. The spice will cling to the rim of the glass and flavor the drink as you sip.

Fill the glasses with ice. Pour the tomato juice into each glass about an inch from the top. Garnish each with a fennel frond.

© NapaStyle, Inc. 2002
By M. Chiarello, D. Shalleck

Tomato Carpaccio with Tomato and Bread Salad
For four servings


About 1/2 loaf good, crusty bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, preferably of different varieties and/or colors
1-1/2 cups quick tomato sauce, made without jalapenos, cold
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups arugula
About 1 tablespoon whole citrus vinaigrette or vinaigrette of choice
About 1 ounce ricotta salata cheese


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the crusts from the bread, but it is not important to be perfect about it. Slice the bread, then cut into 1/4-inch cubes until you have about 3 cups.

In a medium skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until melted and lightly browned. Add the garlic and saute briefly until light brown. Add the sage, bread cubes, and salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Scatter on a baking sheet in a fairly tight single layer. If they are too loose, they will cook too rapidly and dry out. Bake, stirring several times, until crisp on the outside but still chewy inside, about 10 minutes. (The croutons can be made a day or so ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)

Slice the tomatoes as thinly as possible and arrange in overlapping circles on each of 4 plates. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, in a nonreactive bowl, mix the croutons with the tomato sauce and Parmesan. Do not mix ahead of time or the bread will get soggy. Pack about one-fourth of the tomato mixture into an individual 3-inch mold, such as a tea cup or tart pan, and unmold onto one of the prepared plates. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Place the arugula in a bowl, add the vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the arugula on top of each portion of the tomato mixture.

With a vegetable peeler, shave the ricotta salata evenly over the tops of the salads. Serve immediately.

© NapaStyle Inc., January 2001
by Michael Chiarello

Sliced Heirloom Tomato Stack with Blue Cheese
For four servings


4 vine-ripened tomatoes
Gray sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red onion, sliced
½ lemon
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
½ cup basil leaves, julienne
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Balsamic vinegar, to drizzle


Cut from the bottom of the tomatoes enough so that they will stand. Slice the tomatoes into ½-inch thick slices (about 2 or 3), leaving the stem on top.

Season the slices with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the onion slices in a bowl, and squeeze the lemon juice over them to marinate for about five minutes. Top the bottom slice of each tomato with some of the blue cheese, marinated onions, basil, oil and vinegar. Repeat with the remaining slices and rebuild the tomato to it's original form.

© NapaStyle, Inc. 2002
By M. Chiarello

Oven-Dried Tomatoes
Makes 48 tomato halves

I have a habit of planting more tomatoes than my household can use, and when they all come ripe at once, I have to get busy. I can tomato sauce and whole peeled tomatoes, of course, but I also love to oven-dry some of them. I use a method developed by NapaStyle culinary director David Shalleck, which produces a half-dried tomato that's much moister than most commercial varieties. David seasons them with Herbs de Napa and packs them in olive oil, and they keep in the refrigerator for at least a month. I serve them alongside steaks, tuck a few inside a chicken before roasting, or cut them into slivers and add them to a sandwich.


24 plum (Roma) tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for storing
2 tablespoons Herbs de Napa, crushed
1 clove garlic, minced
Extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 250ºF. Arrange the tomato halves, cut side up and close together on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the 6 tablespoons olive oil, the herbs, and the garlic. Spoon a little over each tomato half, stirring the mixture as you go.

Bake until the tomatoes are soft and shriveled but still retain some moisture, 5 to 8 hours. Timing will depend on how large, meaty, and juicy the tomatoes are. Let cool completely, then arrange the tomatoes in a plastic container, making no more than two layers. Add olive oil to cover completely, then cover tightly and refrigerate.

© NapaStyle, Inc., September 2001
by M. Chiarello, D. Shalleck