Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ukrainian Tomatoes Recipe

Ukrainian TomatoesFresh ripe garden tomatoes have the power to turn an ordinary meal into a flavor explosion. They are a superb addition to grilled cheese sandwiches, chef salads, tacos, quiche, and my list goes on and on. I am always amazed at how much a slice of local ripe tomato can improved my lowly ham and cheese or tuna sandwiches. These juicy fruits that often pose as vegetables are also perfect all by themselves with a sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. During their peak season my mother always serves a plate of sliced tomatoes with dinner. When I get my hands on a basket of garden fresh tomatoes, my mind begins to reel with all the culinary possibilities.

One of these potential recipes is Ukrainian Tomatoes. I first had this unique appetizer or summer side dish at the home of a beautiful Ukrainian woman. She cooked all day in order to present my family and I with a feast full of items from her home country. After the meal I was anxious to get all the recipes, especially the one for her tomatoes. She told me that she didn't have written recipes but instead prepared the dishes the way her mother had taught her back in Ukraine. Although I was completely mesmerize with her stories about growing up in a foreign county, I was able to ask a few questions about the food and record the steps for each of her dishes. I am so grateful to have this recipe as part of my tomato repertoire and I will always think of her when I make Ukrainian Tomatoes for my family.

Ukrainian Tomatoes

1 large ripe garden fresh tomatoes

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon water

2 cloves garlic

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 cup shredded white cheese (Russian white cheese, white cheddar, or mozzarella)

  1. Thickly slice a ripe garden fresh tomato. Arrange on a plate or platter.
  2. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Mix mayonnaise and water. Grate garlic using a rasp grater or finely dice. Add to mayonnaise and water mixture. Mix well.
  4. Place a dollop of the garlic mayonnaise on top of each tomato slice. Spread with the back of the spoon.
  5. Freshly grate cheese. Sprinkle each tomato liberally with cheese.
  6. Serve immediately or chill.

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