What I Made: Tomato Watermelon Jicama Salad and Tomato Jam

Searching for things to do with all those tomatoes? Here are a couple ideas. More to come later this week, too.

Tomato, Watermelon, Jicama Salad:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cubed jicama
  • 1 cup of cubed watermelon
  • 1 cup of halved or quartered cherry tomatoes
  • pumpkin seeds (added after this photo was taken)
  • loosely torn fresh mint
  • loosely torn purple basil
  • about 1 tbls. balsamic vinegar
  • about 2 tbls. cold pressed olive oil
  • salt

Preparation:

  1. Mix all ingredients except for oil and vinegar together in a bowl
  2. Toss with oil and balsamic and enjoy.

Tomato Jam:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds good ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated or mincedginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 habaneros, stemmed, seeded and minced, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste (the sweet/spicy thing really works in this jam, so I’d say go for it unless you really hate spicy).

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week. Also, for those of you lucky enough to have cheese shares (I normally don’t but was gifted this week’s) it goes PERFECTLY together.

Saxelby Cheese Share: Sept. 10

Cheese: Ouray (raw cows’ milk)

Farm: Sprout Creek Farm; Poughkeepsie, NY

What Saxelby  has to say: One bite and this cheese will leave you exclaiming OO-ray! A one of a kind cheese  with a flavor that is a hybrid of Cheddar and Parmesan with perhaps a little bit of English Cheshire thrown in the mix to make things interesting. It is bright and tart with a flaky and somewhat granular texture. Accented with sharp and lactic notes and rustic mossy undertones which evoke the damp cellars in which it is aged. The unusual and unique rind gives the cheese more earthy mushroomy flavors and should definitely be eaten, not cast aside. Aged 3-4 months.

Saxelby Cheese Share: Sept. 3

The cellar at Jasper Hill.

Cheese: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (pasteurized cows’ milk)

Farm: Matured in the cellars at Jasper Hill Farm; Greensboro, Vermont

Amount: 1/3 lb.

What Saxelby has to say: The grand champion of the 2006 American Cheese Society cheese awards. This cheese has been dubbed as addictive as narcotics by certain devoted fans.  A hefty, beautiful and rustic wheel, the clothbound cheddar is rich and caramelly, speckled with bits of crystalline crunchy goodness. Clothbound cheddar evolved as a partnership between Jasper Hill Farm and Cabot Creamery, two of the best dairy enterprises in the Green Mountain State. The cheeses are made at Cabot Creamery, and are shipped to the Cellars at Jasper Hill when just a few days old. The team at the Cellars then bandages the cheeses, coats them with hot lard to make the cloth stick to surface of the cheese, and places them on wood shelves to age for 12-14 months.

Saxelby Cheese Share: Aug. 27


Cheese: Old Man Highlander (raw cows’ milk)
Farm: Calkins Creamery; Honesdale, Penn.
Amount: 1/3 lb.
What Saxelby has to say: Old Man Highlander is an aged gouda-style cheese from the caves at Calkins Creamery. These rustic, earthy wheels are aged for 60 to 90 days, during which time they develop a coating of dusty grayish mold. The flavor is milky, snappy and vibrant, with some spicy, Provolone-y notes contributing a bit of sharpness. The texture is semi-firm to firm, depending on how long the cheeses are aged. Normally aged 3-5 months.

Saxelby Cheese Share: August 20

Cheese: Riley’s Coat (raw goat’s milk)

Farm: Blue Ledge Farm; Salisbury, Vermont

Amount: 1/3 lb.

What Saxelby has to say: A semi-firm, sweet and musty goats’ milk cheese from Vermont’s Champlain Valley.  Named for the cheesemakers’ beloved hound, Riley, this cheese is anything but dogged.  The flavor is milky and mellow, with a grassy, honeyed and floral flavor.  Aged between 4 to 5 months, during which time the cheese develops a beautifully rustic natural rind.

Saxelby Cheese Share: July 23

Cheese: Vermont Shepherd (raw sheep’s milk)

Farm: Major Farm; Putney, Vermont

Amount: 1/3 lb.

What Saxelby has to say: A deliciously nutty and slightly sweet aged sheep’s milk cheese from the artisanal cheese pioneers at Major Farm. Back in the 90s, when milking sheep seemed to be just about the craziest thing you could do, David and Cindy Major started making Vermont Shepherd. The result of a trip to the Pyrenees region of France, Vermont Shepherd is a rustic-rinded, smooth sheeps’ milk cheese, like those crafted by French shepherds for hundreds of years. The flavor is balanced and elegant, with an unparalleled richness of grassy, sheepy taste.

FYI: The sheep is this photo are not affiliated with Major Farm. But they are cute. And they have black faces (which my father, a former sheep rancher, hates.) And they’re in snow. And sitting here in 104 degree heat, I wish to join them. — Amy Haimerl

Photo by Tina Negus on Flickr.