Easy Peasy Mandarin Squeezy

Saturday and Sunday are the cooking days when I need to use up ingredients that might be on their last legs. Yesterday it was the whole peeled tomatoes I opened for sauce earlier in the week. I like tomatoes, but even good canned ones can become boring when the tomato-ness is the predominant flavor, or, as I often do because I am such a fan of garlic, I let my dishes skew Italian too often.

Last night I did two things I have never done before. I cooked pork at home, and I trusted botanical classification over grocery store labeling. I’m actually not very good at cooking meat. I have no intuition for pork because I never make it at home. The flavor was fine. The texture was acceptable. I will try to do a better job with the other piece. But, the ‘salsa’ I made to cook it under was perfect and would be excellent on fish, chicken legs, even tofu. And it’s easy.

To take the tomatoes in another direction I acknowledged their botanical identity as a fruit and combined them with like.

Easy, Yummy, Tomato Citrus Roasting Salsa

  • 2 whole, peeled canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 Mandarin Orange, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small shallot, rough chop
  • 1 wedge of lemon, peel on, rough dice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh watercress, rough chop

1. Lightly oil, salt and pepper your protein.

2. Sprinkle watercress and shallot evenly over your protein.

3. Heap tomatoes, orange and lemon pieces atop the watercress and shallot layer (If you want some sort of formality toss the tomatoes oranges and lemon together in a bowl first to mix).

4. Cut a little of the zest from the orange peel and slice it (no more than a teaspoon). Sprinkle over the tomato mixture.

5. Bung it in the oven and roast until your protein is done.

This covered one large chop. I would consider the above one serving and multiply as needed. The ‘salsa’ is also great over rice.

Bon appetit!




  1. Alli · March 31, 2012

    They both took. I moderate my comments to cut down on spammers so they don’t always show up right away. Please let me know if you try a fruit salsa on tofu. I’d love to know how it works for you. Thinking of you (as I do every time I have a vegan moment): baby lettuces with apple and pepitas for my dinner starter. Cheers!

  2. thecastironvegan · March 31, 2012

    Okay, I’m not sure if my previous comment took, so I apologize if this is a duplicate. I like the idea of cooking salsa directly on tofu, and I _really_ like the idea of chopping and using the whole citrus fruit, instead of using just the juice or zest.

  3. thecastironvegan · March 31, 2012

    This looks great! I never thought of cooking a salsa on something. I also have never used all of the orange and lemon in one recipe – I’ve used juice in one recipe and zest in another, but I really like the idea of chopping and using the whole fruit.

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