Tag Archives: Tomatoes

Serrano Ham Tapas – A FEAST for your eyes and your tummy!

By Chef Lippe

Serrano ham at market

Serrano ham is one of Spain’s favorite meats. When you walk into any tapas bar, restaurant or little shop you will see the hams hanging from the wall or a wall decorated with the ropes from the ham. I have included the recipe for one tapa and pictures from many others. It has also become a favorite at my Farmers Market stands.

I hope you have fun making and eating these!

Chef Lippe


Ham and Chicken Stuffed Endives

Left over chicken

Serrano Ham


Salt and Pepper to taste


Slice the bottom inch away from the endive, remove the 6 largest leaves and arrange on plate.

Spoon 1 teaspoon of alioli along the bottom of each leaf.

Arrange shredded chicken on alioli and top with Serrano ham

Drizzle with good olive oil and server with tomatoes and fresh bread.

Enjoy the rest of my many uses of Serrano Ham or better yet come and visit our market stand and try a taste!


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Filed under Artisan Cheese, asparagus, Avocados, Bread, Cheese, Cheese Crisps, Chef Lippe, figs, Food, Food blog, fruit, Manchego, Membrillo, olive oil, peach, pineapple, Quince Paste, recipes, Serrano Ham, spices, Tapa, tomatoes

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes – A small taste of heaven

By Chef Lippe

 slow roated tomatoes

Slow-roasting tomatoes intensifies and concentrates their natural sweetness. This recipe can easily be halved or multiplied. Larger tomatoes require a longer roasting time.  I am going to use these slow roasted tomatoes in a mozzarella log. They are also good in the stuffed baked lemons or eaten just as them come out of the oven.

Makes about 2 cups of tomatoes
Active time:  15 minutes
Total time:  4 hours 15 minutes

2 pounds small to medium tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic, peeled, thinly sliced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Few twists freshly ground pepper
Large pinch coarse salt
Optional: few sprigs fresh thyme and/or rosemary

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Core, and halve the tomatoes. Toss them with the sliced garlic, olive oil, pepper, salt and optional herbs. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Place the tomato halves cut side down on top of the herbs and sliced garlic. Space the tomatoes so they aren’t touching one another.

Turn the tomatoes cut side up. Bake for two more hours.

When done, their fragrance will be heavenly. The tomatoes will be soft, shriveled and their edges caramelized. Slow-Roasted Tomatoes will keep a week in the fridge. Or store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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Did you know…


tomatoesThe scientifically tomatoes are a fruit.  However, in 1893 a Supreme Court decision classified tomatoes as a vegetable.  In Nix vs. Hedden the court ruled that tomatoes must be classified as a vegetable due to their inclusion in ketchup, which was considered a vegetable for school lunch classification purposes. However, subsequent research revealed that the number-one ingredient in ketchup was high-fructose corn syrup. Hence, ketchup is not actually a vegetable but a fruit.

Tomatoes are actually a fruit, not a vegetable. Even though it is not called a fruit by people, it is indeed one. Tomatoes, or lycopesicon sculentum in Latin, directly translates to Wolf peach, was named by a French botanist named Tournafort, as it was thought to be poisonous, the word Wolf a result of the “poisonous” quality and the word peach due to its round shape.

These luscious looking fruit is a member of the night shade family and is native to Western South America and Central America, but will grow just about anywhere and is used to disguise immature Cannabis plants. The color of the tomato in its native country is yellow and it is a small cherry size, unlike the luscious red tomatoes we are all used to hence the reason it was considered poisonous, although the tomato plants leaves are indeed poisonous.

The national cancer institute has proven that consuming large amounts of tomato can reduce the risk of contracting Cancers like prostate cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, pancreas cancer, colorectal cancer, esophagus cancer, oral cancer, breast cancer, and cervical cancer. These scientists are not sure exactly what it is in the tomato that is so beneficial, but it is the general consent that it could be the lycopenes or the bioflavonoids, these are closely related to beta carotene. Cooking tomatoes is proven to be almost double as effective as eating tomatoes raw.

Tomatoes are excellent for the skin and can be used to do a home facial.

As a face peel you simply rub slices of tomato directly onto the face, concentrating on the areas with a lot of blackheads or blocked pores, the vitamin c content of the tomato has healing powers and the acid unplugs pores as well as removes dead skin. It is also effective as a mask, using thin slices of tomato, placing them on the face and lying down for 10 to 15 minutes there after using the thin slices to rub the juice into skin, and removing the excess leaving the juice on the skin it restores the natural pH of the skin.

Fun tomato facts about eating

American habits. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat between 22- 24 pounds of tomatoes per person, per year. (More than half of those munchies are ketchup and tomato sauce.)

Popularity. The tomato is America’s fourth most popular fresh-market vegetable behind potatoes, lettuce, and onions.


Ketchup, the leading condiment in America, found in 97% of kitchens, did not begin as the tomato-ey concoction that is now a part of the fabric of our culture. (in my case, also part of the fabric of many t-shirts) The roots of ketchup are traced back to China, with a sauce they called ke-tsiap. Tomatoes were not found in the sauce, or in China at all for that matter. The primary ingredient was fish brine mixed with herbs, and this ke-tsiap was a watery sauce. When it arrived in England in the 17th century, then called catsup, it was being used to make pickled anchovies.

About that time, the Spanish found the tomato in South America and started spreading it around. One hundred or so years later, ketchup met tomato in Mexico, producing a similarly watery sauce. Things started to firm up when F&J Heinz started production in 1876 with their now famous “Tomato Ketchup” recipe.

Bonus fact: While they did have plenty of varieties, the number 57 was made-up by Heinz. He thought it sounded good, and liked the 7 for the “psychological influence of that figure and of its alluring significance to people of all ages.”

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Baked Vegetable Ziti




  • 3 cups mixed chopped vegetables (we used zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, carrots & mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 bag of your favorite fresh pasta (we used tri color with garlic)
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup fresh  ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella shredded
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar shredded



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop all vegetables and arrange in a casserole dish. Drizzle with your favorite olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

baked vegetables 2


Roast for 20 minutes.

Add fresh pasta to roasted veggies and mix to distribute.

Add marinara sauce and ricotta cheese and mix again to evenly distribute.

Cover the top of the dish with shredded mozzarella and sharp cheese.


Cook at 375 for 30 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!


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Filed under Chef Lippe, eggplant, Food, Food blog, Mozzarella, olive oil, Pasta, recipes, Ricotta, tomatoes, zucchini

Fregola sarda pasta salad with fresh vegetables

By Chef Lippe

Our first week of farmers markets has been a smashing big hit! Our move to Florida took a lot longer than planned…. moving an entire warehouse plus two dogs and your own house was not easy. We only lost a few wine glasses however, so I call it a successful move. Still unpacking boxes and still trying to find where the new home is for a lot of things that I know I unpacked but do not remember where I put it on the warehouse shelf.

We are still working on our schedule for the farmers markets but have the following schedule so far:

Monday evening: Audubon Park Community Market

Tuesday is cooking day so we are off

Wednesday: Cocoa Village Farmers Market

Thursday: Cape Canaveral Farmers Market

Friday: Farmers Market in Satellite Beach

Saturday: Farmer’s Market Oceanside Vero Beach

Sunday: Stuart Green Market

So if you are in the area please stop buy say HI and check out some of our fresh made items that are not available on our website.  Our stand is called Fratello Sole which means bother sun which seems to be a destiny that we had not even seen a few years ago.  When we first started our online store we were living in Washington DC. We named our company Sunshine Corporation (first step of our destiny).  Then my parents retired and moved to Florida (step two) and to keep the family together we moved to Florida also. So what better name for a Farmers Market stand than Fratello Sole! This week I made a garden fresh asparagus salad with some of our Fregola sarda pasta, tomatoes and asparagus that I got from my neighbor stand and 30 minutes in the kitchen start to finish.  This was such a big hit we sold out of both the fresh salad and the pasta.  Hope you enjoy it as well.

Fregola sarda salad with garden fresh tomatoes and aspargus


4 oz. fregola sarda
8 spears asparagus, woody ends discarded and chopped into 1 inch segments
1 large heirloom tomato (approx. size of a beef tomato, substitute two plum tomatoes)
Half scallion or shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons goats’ curd (or mozzarella)
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
Dressing: 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


Cook the fregola for 10-12 minutes in boiling water until al dente. For the last two minutes add the asparagus, they will cook in this time. Drain water to arrest the cooking process, put to the side.
Remove the tomato core and seeds and dice. Mix with the shallots, fregola, asparagus and parsley and dress. Season to taste.

Add the cheese, I pulled small chunks off with my fingers and dropped them onto the salad.



Filed under asparagus, Chef Lippe, Fregola sarda, goat cheese, Pasta, recipes

Stuffed Cheesy Tomato

By Chef Lippe

I dare you to take the taste test…. A fresh tomato from a farmers market stand vs a vine ripened tomato from your favorite grocery store.  Fresh vegetables from a local farmers market are 10 times better. The shame in it is that so many of our children have never tasted anything but the vegetables from the grocery store. Or that they believe that mac n’cheese from a box is good for you. If you make this cheesy stuffed tomato for your family with fresh tomatoes from a local farm stand it will be your families new favorite!


6 tomatoes

2 tablespoons garlic olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon scallion

1 garlic clove, shopped

1 cup dry breadcrumbs

Swiss cheese grated



Preheat oven to 325 degrees


Slice off tops of tomatoes and hollow out the pulp/seeds of the tomatoes keeping the meat of the tomato around the sides and bottom of the tomato. Discard pulp (I happen to like this and save it to eat later). I have also mix the pulp with the bread crumbs for a moister stuffing.


In a sauce pan, heat oil, parsley, scallions, garlic and breadcrumbs. Mix together until just heated through and moist. Just before stuffing mix in ½ cup of cheese.


Place tomatoes in an oiled casserole dish.


Fill tomatoes with stuffing.


Top each tomato with more cheese. Brush with oil and bake for 45 minutes. (baste with oil occasionally while cooking).


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