Thursday, July 21, 2011

of sprouts and slow roast tomatoes

I love my little occasional window garden of sprouts.  And I love using sprouts to flavor stir-fries, salads, tacos, pho bo and other soups, sandwiches, all sorts of yummy things to eat.  I learned this technique on Honest Fare, and here is the post, with some pretty pictures.  Beware of growing too many - the first time I did this, I used half a bag of lentils and I had more sprouts than I could eat (my mother warned me...). This time, I probably did 1/3 of a cup in a wide-mouth pint Mason jar. My plans are to start more as I begin to eat one batch, and have a fresh supply on hand at all times.

Windowsill Sprouts

You'll need a clean clear glass jar, cheesecloth, a jar ring or rubber band, and some kind of dried bean that you want to sprout.  I've only used lentils so far and they are tasty.

Rinse 1/3 cup of lentils and inspect for stones or bad seeds.  Place in a bowl and cover with cool water overnight. The next day, rinse the lentils and put in the jar. Cover the jar with a layer of cheesecloth cut to fit over the top, and secure with a jar ring or rubber band. Place in a sunny spot (I haven't done it in direct sun, though - a bright place on the counter or windowsill out of direct sun is fine).

For the next 6 or 7 days or so, morning and evening, rinse the lentils through the cheesecloth with cool water. Be sure to drain all the water out each time so they won't be soaking in water all the time. You'll see sprouts begin to form, and fill the jar. They are ready to eat when the leaves begin to open.  Remove them from the jar, rinse in cold water, and spread out on paper towels to drain for a bit.

Store in an airtight container lined with paper towels. They should keep in the fridge for about a week.

(I left the pictured sprouts in the jar for 2 or 3 days more, and it was filled to the top with larger, opening green leaves. You'll know when they're ready.)

When my brother shared a huge mob of cherry tomatoes with me recently, we just weren't eating them fast enough and I needed to find something to do with them. I made a recipe of fresh salsa, but we still had a good many little maters.  Google to the rescue, I found an easy recipe and slow roasted them in the oven. I was amazed at the flavor these chewy little rubies packed inside. I've mostly enjoyed them on salads, but I think tonight, it's time to give them a try on a homemade veggie pizza. :)

Oven-dried Cherry Tomatoes
(please note - these will not be completely dry using this recipe, so do not store them for long periods of time. A couple of weeks in the fridge, or a month or so in the freezer should be fine)

cherry tomatoes, washed, destemmed, and cut in half
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
dried basil leaves

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a cookie sheet or broiler pan. Place the halved tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer on the parchment paper. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and basil over the top evenly. Bake for 3 hours (4 hours if you have big tomatoes). Let cool before storing in an airtight freezer bag or plastic container. Use over salads, in soups, on pizza, or even as a chewy snack.

1 comment:

  1. Have never even thought of trying your sprouts idea. Very cool! I wonder what the cats will think... As for your dried tomato snacks, sounds YUM!