Eastern Europeans love tomatoes. From the Hungarians, Poles, Lithuanians and Ukrainians in the north to the Czech and Slovak republics to the southern Balkan countries of Serbia, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria, tomatoes show up in many dishes.
This tomato tart recipe is versatile in that the cheese base can be varied to suit one's Eastern European tastes. Dry curd cheese, also known as farmer's cheese or baker's cheese, Bulgarian feta or ricotta cheese can all be used in combination or alone. The fresh herbs can range from dill to thyme to oregano.
This Hungarian fresh tomato soup recipe (paradicsomleves) can be served hot or cold and fleshed out with an addition of small pasta and served with crusty bread. Dollop the soup with sour cream, if you like. This is a great way to use an abundance of garden tomatoes and the riper they are, the better! That means overripe tomatoes are just fine.
Hungarian lecso (LEH-choh) is a vegetable stew that combines three of Hungary's favorite ingredients -- peppers, tomatoes and paprika. Lecso can be served variously as a vegetable side dish, appetizer or the main meal itself. It's similar to Serbian djuvece (below) and Russian letcho.
This is one of those versatile kitchen-sink types of soups. I concocted this based on what I had in my rerigerator and freezer at the time. Let your imagination be your guide. I like to sweat my vegetables and the barley in a little butter or oil to slightly caramelize the veggies and coat the grain. It really makes a difference. This is a good candidate for a slow cooker.
This tomato butter recipe is simple to prepare and makes good use of a bumper crop of tomatoes -- ripe or green! It calls for only two ingredients -- tomatoes and sugar. That's it! This is a great project for the kids and the recipe easily can be doubled or tripled.See All About Fruit Butters.