Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dare to Bake: Sweet Eat and Summer Bounty

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

Let's just say I took a few liberties with this month's Daring Bakers' challenge. I really did intend to make the cake and some vegan pastry creme, but the hot weather and lack of portability of said dessert (so I could take it to work) ultimately found me scrambling on the 27th to throw something together. While I enjoyed consuming the results of my labors, neither one was the "fraisier" we were challenged to make.

Instead, I took advantage of the fact that I had been bequeather a large sum of tomatoes that had been bequeathed to me at the market on Sunday. Now, many of you know that the tomatoes you find in a grocery store are good for little more than flavorless additions to a sandwich. They pale in comparison to a vine-ripened, fresh-picked fruit. A month ago, NPR's Terry Gross interviewed food writer Barry Estabrook about his new book, Tomatoland. Estabrook takes the reader on a journey through the evolution of the tomato to the modern industrialized crop bred for durability on the grocery shelves.

Without incentive to maintain flavor, farmers and breeders have essentially focused in on the appearance, transportability, and storability of the tomato. That does not make for good eatin'. But my tomatoes were ripe and bursting with tomato-y goodness. What did I do with them? I made a baked polenta and zucchini-tofu Napolean with roasted tomato and garlic sauce! mmm...

Tomato Sauce
5 large tomatoes, diced
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
drizzle of olive oil
sprinklin' of salt
dash of red wine
tossed in a bit of basil

...and placed in a covered pan at 350F for 45-60 minutes until soft and melty!

Zucchini Tofu
1 package of mori-nu firm tofu
2 zucchini sauteed with some salt and garlic powder
2 tbs nutritional yeast
sprinkle of salt and either basil or oregano

...pop in a food processor and go at it until smooth.

Assembly
some disks of polenta (can use the tubed stuff or make your own)
ramekins, greased

...layer polenta, tofu, polenta and then place in oven for about 25 minutes. Top with tomatoes!

And for dessert, no baking for me. Top and bottom made of ground almonds, dates, cocoa powder, and a little agave. The inside, pictured frozen, is a chocolate mousse made with silken tofu, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and some stevia to sweeten. Low GI, packed with protein, and does not involve an oven!

That is all folks. Next time I promise to have a better DB post! Look out for some more chocolate and summer produce on its way.

1 comment:

Victoria (The District Chocoholic) said...

Nice! A savory take on it. Looks incredible. And I thought that *I* was creative. Not at all.