Tomato, Arugula & Quinoa Salad with Rosemary Basil Pesto

The peppery bite from the arugula and the creaminess of the goat cheese complete this healthy, yet equally satisfying dish.

3 Florida tomatoes, sliced
4 cups of arugula
1 cup of cooked quinoa (¼ cup dry quinoa +
3/4 cup water)
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese for
sprinkling on top
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (optional)

2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary
1 cup of fresh basil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons of crumbled goat cheese
5 cloves of roasted garlic
1 teaspoon of roughly chopped shallot
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Slice off the top of the head of garlic so that most of the cloves are exposed.
Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, wrap in foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes until cloves are soft.

Once cool enough to handle, use a butter knife to pop the cloves right out of the skin.

Soak the quinoa for 5 minutes in a small saucepot, then rinse and drain using a fine mesh sieve.

Add drained quinoa back to the pot, 1/4 cups of water and a pinch of salt if desired.

Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook the quinoa for 12 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.

Remove quinoa from heat and allow it to sit for five minutes with the lid on. Fluff with a fork.

To make the pesto, add all of the ingredients, except the extra virgin olive oil, to a food processor.

While it is running, pour the oil through the chute to create a smooth pesto.

On a platter, layer the bottom with arugula and top it with sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle the sea salt over the tomatoes.

Drizzle the arugula with extra virgin olive oil if desired. Add the quinoa, pour the pesto over the top, and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.

YIELD: 4-6 Servings

This recipe was developed by Ashley Centola, author of the blog Simple Craves & Olive Oil.


Tomato Rice Salad Stack

This summertime favorite can serve as an appetizer or light lunch.

1 cup of any type of rice, washed
1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of onion – chopped
1 1/2 cup of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
6-7 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
Salt and ground pepper (to taste)
1 boiled egg, chopped into small pieces

Rice Salad
1 cup of cooked cooled rice (recipe above)
1 can of tuna in olive oil
1/2 cup of chopped Florida tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of vinaigrette (recipe above)
Chopped herb of choice – oregano, basil or parsley

In a saucepan with lid, on high heat, drizzle the oil and add the chopped onions and cook until soft. Add the rice and salt. Coat the rice and add the chicken stock. Bring to a hard boil, cover and lower the heat to simmer and cook until the rice has absorbed the stock, about 20 minutes.

When the rice is finished, remove from saucepan and spread on a baking sheet to cool down to room temperature.

Next start on your vinaigrette.
In a deep bowl, add the vinegar and maple syrup and whisk; then slowly add the olive oil until it starts to thicken a bit. Add the boiled egg and taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For your rice salad, take half of your tomatoes and cut into small pieces. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and toss. In a separate bowl, add the can of tuna with oil. Break up the tuna and season with a bit of salt, add the cold rice and toss. Add the chopped tomatoes and toss. Add the vinaigrette a little at a time – you want the salad to be coated in the vinaigrette but not too much.

To create your stack, cut tomato into 1/2 inch rounds (one tomato yields approximately four rounds) and put on your plate, or inside a plating ring (if using) and season with salt, to taste. Pile some of the rice salad on top, pressing down gently. Top with another round tomato slice, season again with salt and top with more rice salad. You can finish with another round top of tomato, or mince some tomato and use to place on the top. If using a plating ring, remove slowly. Drizzle top of tower and plate with vinaigrette and sprinkle with finely chopped fresh herb of choice.

Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4

This recipe was developed by Monica Caretto, author of the blog Sweetbites Blog.


Tomato & Ricotta Salad Stuffed Mushrooms

This simple dish highlights the flavor of fresh tomatoes and can serve as a vegetarian appetizer or a side dish.

1 large ripe Florida tomato, chopped
2 Portobello mushroom caps, cleaned & stems removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup baby arugula
Ricotta salata, shaved with a vegetable or cheese peeler, as much as desired

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place Portobello caps on baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt & pepper.

Roast for about 15 minutes, until the water has evaporated out of the mushrooms. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the chopped tomato, shallots, remaining olive oil, vinegar and more salt & pepper to taste.

Evenly divide the arugula on top of each mushroom cap and top with the tomato mixture.

Place the shavings of ricotta salata on top of the tomatoes and garnish with additional salt & pepper and/or olive oil if desired.

This recipe was developed by Gina Matsoukas, author of the blog Running to the Kitchen.


Seafood Pico de Gallo

The delicious combination of fresh vegetables and succulent seafood is a light and refreshing dish and makes for a fabulous appetizer, side dish or accompaniment to a Mexican feast.

2 cups seeded and diced Florida tomatoes
3/4 cup diced onions
1/2 large green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup corn kernels
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 oz. grilled squid
3 oz. grilled shrimp

Grill squid and shrimp.

In a large bowl, combine chopped and diced vegetables, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper and let sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.

In the meantime, chop grilled squid and shrimp into bite size pieces. Toss squid and shrimp with vegetables.

Serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos, burritos and fajitas.

This recipe was developed by Allie Mak, author of the blog Live Laugh Eat.


Mediterranean Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

This vegetarian and gluten-free dish can serve
as a light main course or hearty side dish. It is best with fresh tomatoes because while the
quinoa filling is extremely flavorful, the tomatoes are seasoned with just a pinch of salt and pepper and only warmed slightly, so the sweetness of the tomato really shines through, and the freshness is highlighted.

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth/stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6-8 large Florida tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1 cup (about 4 oz.) crumbled feta cheese, divided
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the quinoa, broth and oregano in a saucepan.

Cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and liquid is fully absorbed (or cook as per package instructions).

While the quinoa is cooking, slice about 1/2 inch off the tops of the tomatoes, and set tops aside.

Scoop out the insides of the tomatoes so that you have just a shell remaining.

Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish.

Dice the tops of the tomatoes so that you have about 1/4 cup diced tomatoes, and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Once the quinoa has finished cooking, stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped olives, 1/2 cup of the feta, pine nuts, and reserved diced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the quinoa mixture among the tomatoes and pack in slightly.

Divide the remaining 1/2 cup feta cheese over the tops of the tomatoes.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through, and cheese has browned slightly.

This recipe was developed by Brianne Izzo, author of the blog Cupcakes & Kale Chips.


Herb Roasted Shrimp and Tomatoes with Saffron Scented Orzo

OrzoTomatoes pair wonderfully with herbed shrimp in this fresh and healthy dinner entrée. Roasting
them together brings out a delicious sauce
to serve with orzo.

10 to 12 Florida tomatoes cut into eighths
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/3 cup fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
6 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth can be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons butter
16 ounces dried orzo

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large bowl mix together, cut tomatoes, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over them (reserve 1 tablespoon olive oil). Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

While tomatoes are roasting, mix together the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, parsley, basil and garlic in a large sized bowl. Add shrimp and make sure they are coated well. After tomatoes have roasted for 30 minutes, add the herbed coated shrimp to the pan while lightly mixing together.

Cook the tomatoes and shrimp for another 15 to 20 minutes or until shrimp are cooked. Place the cooked tomatoes and shrimp in a big bowl. Stir together so juices are evenly distributed.

Cook the orzo while tomatoes and shrimp are roasting. Add the broth, saffron and butter to a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil for a few minutes and let the saffron threads pop. Add the orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until al dente. Make sure to stir occasionally so orzo does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Drain any remaining broth after orzo is cooked.

Serve the shrimp and tomatoes over the hot orzo. Add extra salt and pepper to taste.

YIELD: 6 servings

This recipe was developed by Lisa Grant, author of the blog Jersey Girl Cooks.


Fresh Florida Tomato and Veggie Crepes

TomatoDolmasThese savory crepes make an excellent brunch or dinner dish. Don’t let crepes scare you – if you can flip a pancake, you can make a crepe!

Crepe Filling
1 head of broccoli
1 bag of spinach
4 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion
5 strips turkey bacon
5 Florida tomatoes
1 block sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup scallions
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Basic Crepe
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon melted butter (slightly cooled – not hot)
1/3 cup milk
1/3 teaspoon salt

Blanch the broccoli.

Cook turkey bacon strips in a medium-sized pan, leaving whatever fat is remaining. Remove when cooked from pan and pat down with paper towel. Once cooled, chop into bite size pieces.

In the same medium-sized pan, turn heat to medium high and add a teaspoon of olive oil.

After the olive oil has heated a bit, add minced garlic and diced onion. Cook until translucent.

Add spinach and sauté. When the spinach is almost done, add the already blanched broccoli.

Turn heat to low and add 5 diced Florida tomatoes and the cooked bacon.

Shred block of cheddar cheese and set aside.

Once the filling has been made, you can get started on the crepes!

At this point, turn oven to 350F.

Mix batter together and let rest (covered) in the refrigerator for up to an hour.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.

Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side.

Fill the crepes as they are coming off the stove. Add about two heaping tablespoons of filling and a small handful of shredded cheese. Transfer them into a baking dish and fold either quesadilla style or rolled like an enchilada.

After the crepes are all finished, cover them in shredded sharp cheddar cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly.

Top with diced scallions.

YIELD: 8 crepes

This recipe was developed by Alicia Behan, author of the blog The Wannabe Foodie.


Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

TomatoDolmasThis spicy and flavorful dinner entrée will fill a
belly and put a smile on your face!

3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Cajun spice
1/2 cup bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup red onion, cut into thin strips
1/2 lb. shrimp (shells, tails, and veins removed)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 Florida tomatoes, diced into 1″ pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken and/or seafood stock (I used
a mix of chicken and seafood)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 lb. linguini pasta

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Chop chicken into 1” pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss 3 tablespoons of Cajun spice over the chicken. Let the chicken sit for 15 minutes with seasoning. In another bowl, add the peeled, deveined and cleaned shrimp. Toss the shrimp with the extra 2 teaspoons of Cajun spice. Make sure chicken and shrimp are coated in the spice. Add a little black pepper, if you choose.

Once the pan is hot and ready, add the chicken and sauté until it is about half done. (You do not want the chicken to fully cook now because you will be combining the rest of the ingredients and allowing it all to cook together.)

Next, add the peppers, onions and shrimp into the sauté pan with the chicken. Repeat what you did with cooking the chicken – cook until the shrimp is about halfway cooked. Add your minced garlic and season with additional salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Add more Cajun spice to taste.

Lastly, add the diced tomatoes and chicken/seafood broth into the sauté pan. Gently stir the ingredients together. Continue to cook until the chicken and shrimp are done and the vegetables are tender.

Cook your pasta following the directions on the back of your box, or until al dente.

Serve your jambalaya pasta in bowls. Start with a layer of the pasta and then add the jambalaya over it. Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley and serve with freshly baked crusty bread.

This recipe was developed by Natasha Kennedy, author of the blog That’s So Yummy.


Broiled Polenta Bruschetta

TomatoDolmasThis dish works great as an appetizer or side dish.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound of sliceable polenta, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups of diced Florida tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup diced fresh mozzarella
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Cover a baking sheet in aluminum foil; set aside.

In a medium non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat.

Sprinkle both sides of the polenta with the Italian seasoning. Add the polenta slices and sauté for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Once both sides have been sautéed, place on the prepared baking sheet.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, red onion, olive oil, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil in a bowl; set aside until all of the polenta pieces are finished and on the baking sheet.

Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon on top of the polenta.

Broil for 5-6 minutes, until the mozzarella has melted and is slightly bubbly.

Serve warm.

This recipe was developed by Patsy Kreitman, author of the blog FamFriendsFood.


Winter Gazpacho Ole

WinterGazpacho3 large (about 1-1/2 pounds) fresh Florida tomatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
½ cup sliced scallions (green onions)
4 cups mild “picante flavor” vegetable juice
1 can (19 ounces) Black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Use tomatoes held at room temperature until fully ripe. Core tomatoes; chop (makes about 4 cups); set aside. In a large saucepan, heat oil until hot; add cumin; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in green pepper, scallions and reserved chopped tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until green peppers are nearly crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in vegetable juice, black beans, salt and cilantro; cook until heated through, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and additional diced tomatoes, or sliced radishes, if desired.

YIELD: 4 to 6 portions, or 9 cups