As Louisiana starts to heat up in late spring, colorful tomatoes pop up at farmers’ markets throughout the state. We often find that the flavor of these ripe, juicy beauties shines best when they are treated simply. This season, we created two quick appetizers to help you make the most of your tomatoes: a refreshing gazpacho and an easily assembled crostini.
Tomato Salad Crostini
Yields: About 40
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 6 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup diced cooked shrimp
- ⅓ cup diced red onion
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (8-ounce) package goat cheese, softened
- Crostini, to serve
- Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
- In a small bowl, toss together avocado and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Place tomatoes in a medium bowl, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Add shrimp, onion, vinegar, oil, pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt, stirring to combine. Gently stir in avocado mixture.
- Spread goat cheese on crostini. Top with tomato mixture. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
Yields: About 4 Cups
- 2 pounds yellow tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
- ½ English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- ⅓ cup chopped sweet yellow onion
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder Garnish: sliced grape tomatoes, diced English cucumber
- In the container of a blender or the work bowl of a food processor, place tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, ⅓ cup water, lime juice, oil, salt, cumin, coriander, and garlic powder; process, in batches if necessary, until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Stir gazpacho well before serving. Garnish with grape tomatoes and cucumber, if desired.