Food columnist Judi Leaming shares a few recipes from the "50 Shades of Red" cookbook, which was sold at the Great Eastern Shore Tomato Festival earlier this month.

In mid-July I mentioned in a column that a cookbook about tomatoes that was to be called “50 Shades of Red” was in the planning stages as a fundraiser to be sold at the Great Eastern Shore Tomato Festival. The creative genius behind this project was Jeanne Bernard, president of the Dorchester County Historical Society. Her goal was to collect and type up 50 recipes that would be available for sale on Aug. 17 at the festival. I wished her well and submitted a few recipes. 

Never underestimate the enthusiasm and energy of Jeanne Bernard! An amazing collection of more than 150 tomato-based recipes are in the finished product which sold out on Aug. 17 and has now gone into a second printing which will be available soon. Meanwhile I’ll share a few of the recipes with you and I’ll continue to applaud the efforts of Jeanne for a job well done!  Incidentally this sure-to-be-used-and-cherished cookbook also contains interesting information and facts about tomatoes.

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The Virtuous “Mary”

(Who needs vodka when vegetables taste this good?)

1 1/2 cups no-salt tomato juice

1/2 cup chopped and peeled ripe tomatoes

2 tender, inner stalks celery with leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon prepared or freshly grated horseradish

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground celery seed

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste

1 cup ice

 Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until completely smooth. Divide between two glasses and serve immediately. A delicious and savory smoothie!

Baked Egg in Tomato

(Submitted by Julianna Pax of Cambridge, Md.)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium size ripe tomato, washed and chopped fine

1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add olive oil to a skillet and sauté the chopped tomato, basil, sugar, salt and pepper, cooking for 10 minutes. Place this mixture into a small 2-cup oiled baking dish. Make a well in the middle and break an egg into it. Bake for 20 minutes or until egg is done. Serves one.

Tomato Preserves (for canning or freezer)

(Submitted by Clara Mae Stephens of East New Market, Md.)

2 1/2 to 3 pounds firm, ripe tomatoes (3 to 4 cups prepared tomatoes)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 lemon rind, cut into strips (optional)

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 box powdered pectin

5 to 6 sterilized 1/2-pint jelly jars with lids and rings

Wash tomatoes; scald, peel and chop tomatoes. Place chopped tomatoes into a saucepan and heat slowly to simmer, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and burning. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Measure 3 to 4 cups of the cooked tomatoes into another large saucepan. Add lemon juice, lemon rind and cinnamon to the prepared tomatoes and stir in the powdered pectin. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  IMMEDIATELY stir in the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off and discard foam. Pour hot jam into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two pieces metal canning lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool and seal. Sealed jars may be kept on the pantry shelf; store any unsealed jars in the freezer. Yields five or six jars.