Summer Tomato Stacks
Summertime! My fridge is exploding with fresh produce. The tomatoes, scallions, corn, basil..here's a dish that combines them all. There are few things that I miss about being vegetarian..vegan eating has agreed with me so completely that I can't understand why I spent 1993-2006 as vegetarian yet only the past three years vegan! So it's rare that I have an urge for something that isn't vegan. Except for this one. About four years ago, I tried a recipe called "summer stacks." It was totally vegetarian but not vegan because it called for layering tomato stacks with mozzarella cheese slices. I remember making it when I had friends over for dinner and it was a big hit. After going vegan that fall, I was stumped as to how to recreate this recipe without cheese. Those store bought vegan cheezes just don't do it for me. This summer when I stumbled upon a great vegan feta cheeze recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan, I knew that I found my "cheeze." In my humble opinion, Bryanna is a genius. I've tried so many of her recipes and loved them all. This feta recipe makes a bunch of "cheeze" so you can make a batch and keep it in the fridge for salads, etc. I just love it! You'll need to plan a few days in advance as the cheeze really improves with age as it sits in its brine. I think this also would be great with any homemade vegan cheeze (such as a raw cashew herb cheeze) or a gourmet cheeze such as Dr. Cow (if you can get it which I can't..rats!).
Ingredients (serves two)
2 mid-sized perfectly ripe tomatoes
a handful of fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
one ear of corn, raw or cooked (your preference, both taste great)
salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Wash and dry tomatoes. With the stem side facing sideways, slice each tomato into 4-5 thick slices. Put the slice with the stem aside. You can save this for salad bits or cut it up into small pieces to sprinkle as "confetti" on your "stacks."
- Prepare two small plates, one sliced tomato for each "stack."
- Put the first slice (the one that was right next to the "stem" slice) on each plate.
- Layer with vegan cheeze.
- Repeat until slices are used up and you have a little little stack of tomato/cheeze towers!
- Using a knife, slice corn off of the cob (if using corn on the cob)..sprinkle on stacks.
- Using scissors, cut up your scallions and distribute evenly on the stacks.
- Chiffonade (roll and slice) the basil leaves and arrange as you please on top and down the sides of the tomatoes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Add a drizzle of olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar
Speaking of the little furballs, here are two of my originals, Keebler and Trolli, enjoying their daily dried, unsweetened cranberry.
And finally our second group of brothers, Baby, Brownie and Wiley! This is the first photo of them on Gemusings..they have been extremely hard to photograph. I was lucky that I caught them all together and they stayed still for a second. I've had a hard time with these guys..they weren't used to as much human contact as my originals so it's been months before they trusted me enough to climb on my arm. Just two weeks ago, we had a big step in progress and they are now trained to climb into their carrier and then get back into it. I can now bring them into my bedroom for their evening runaround. It's a gigantic relief to reach this step as Goos need about an hour of out of the cage exercise each day. Baby is a bit neurotic and days such as today, he is very skittish but he's getting better each day. Wiley and Brownie have become downright affectionate which is a welcome change to the bite Brownie gave me back in May! I really had hoped that my two sets of brothers would get along but at this point, I've resigned myself to the fate of having two very adorable, loving sets of boys who just don't get along. Bummer but I wouldn't give any of them up for anything!