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Today is September 16, 2021

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Delta Delicious w/ Martha Hall Foose - The bright, cool July flavor of tomatoes

By Martha Hall Foose

Delta Delicious w/ Martha Hall Foose - The bright, cool July flavor of tomatoes

Backyards, patio pots, roadside truck beds and farm stands have got tomatoes of all shapes and sizes this month. So, we should make hay (or tomato sandwiches) while the sun shines!

These deviled tomatoes make a great side dish for a rotisserie chicken picked up from the market or just about anything that comes out of the smoker. These also make a unique addition to a brunch with scrambled eggs and hash browns.

Cool Summer Salad might even be better after marinating for a while but I can’t resist eating right out of the mixing bowl. Gather up some peak-of-season staples and douse them in a marinade of lemon juice, olive oil and mint and tote this to the next cookout or pool party. The touch of fresh mint is the pop of unexpected flavor that will have dining companions pleading for the recipe.

 

Cool Summer Salad

This salad makes a wonderful lunch packed in a pita bread with some crumbled feta cheese. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Taste again to check salt and pepper and serve.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

2 cups chopped seeded cucumber or diced English cucumber

1/2 cup seeded and diced colorful bell peppers

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Taste again to check salt and pepper and serve.

 

 

Buttermilk Herb Dressing

We use this dressing on everything from crisp leafy greens and straight from the garden cucumbers to hot chicken wings.

Changing up your tomato sandwich with a spread of this tangy dressing will have you rethinking plain mayonnaise on your tomato sandwiches. It might even break up your relationship with bottled or made from a packet Ranch-style dressings and dips.

I love it made with fresh herbs but in a pinch dried will do, just use 1/2 teaspoon of each dried herb as the fl avor is more concentrated.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

 

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Chill for at least 1 hour. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for one week.

 

 

Deviled Tomatoes

These stuffed and broiled tomatoes get their heat from Pepper Jack cheese and jalapeno peppers. Some crumbles of bacon add a bit of smokiness. Each filled tomato sits on a raft of sourdough bread to sop up the juices and any drips of bubbly melted cheese.

Some tomatoes just aren’t as good looking as others. Save the pretty ones for your salads because once they get this treatment you won’t notice and imperfections are sometimes the tastiest.

 

INGREDIENTS

6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup chopped red onion

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

3 large tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 slices sourdough bread, toasted

3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

 

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels and reserve the drippings in the skillet. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and jalapenos to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, scoop the flesh out of the center of the tomatoes and chop, reserving the shells. Add the chopped tomatoes to the skillet and stir in the oregano. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes.

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the broiler. Put the bread slices in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top each slice of bread with a tomato half. Divide the vegetable mixture evenly among the tomato halves. Top the tomatoes with the bacon and cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

 

Martha Hall Foose, the author of “Screen Doors & Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales of a Southern Cook,” won the James Beard Award for American Cooking. Her latest collaboration is “A Good Meal is Hard to Find: Storied Recipes from the Deep South” with Amy C. Evans. Martha makes her home in the Mississippi Delta with her husband and son. She is a member of Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association.

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