RECIPES BY OUR READERS / PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL PIAZZA
For most of us, the end of the tomato season means the end of summer. Months will go by before we will be able to again enjoy the sublime taste experience that one gets biting into a just picked, perfectly ripe tomato.
Just before the peak of tomato season we reached out to our readers via social media and asked them to submit their favorite recipes for our 1st Annual Tomato Recipe Contest. The response was great and presented us with some incredible entries, but as stated in the rules, there could be only 5 winners (and one recipe so simple, we couldn’t resist sharing it.)
Thank you to all who participated; all submitted recipes can be found on our website.
Tomato—plain and simple
Submitted by Greg Jundanian, from his iPhone
1 ripe tomato
Bite into tomato and sprinkle with salt. Repeat until the tomato has disappeared.
Caramelized Tomato Tarte Tatin
Submitted by Gayle Squires of Central Square, Cambridge. She buys her tomatoes at the Central Square Farmers Market, and finds her copy of Edible Boston at Russo’s.
This tarte is based on a recipe that Melissa Clark wrote for her column in the New York Times back in 2008, a couple of tomato tarte tatin recipes in Tamasin Day-Lewis’ The Art of the Tart, and one served at Tatte’s newly-opened Cambridge café. While tarte tatins are traditionally dessert fare, made with apples, this tarte is a combination of sweet and savory as the caramel is spiked with sweet-acidic balsamic vinegar. Throw some crumbled feta or goat cheese on top if you like.
1 package frozen puff pastry
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 red onions, sliced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup plus a pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes (or a variety)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Defrost the puff pastry for 20-30 minutes on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 425°.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, some salt + pepper to taste, and a pinch of sugar and sauté until they are golden and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. When the water cooks off, transfer the onions to a bowl.
To make the caramel, combine ¼ cup sugar and 3 tablespoons water in an ovenproof 9 or 10-inch pan or enameled skillet (preferably with a handle). Cook over medium heat, swirling the pan gently (do not stir: only swirl! Stirring could result in a grainy, crystallized caramel). Watch the sugar very closely—the moment it starts to turn light golden brown, remove it from the heat to avoid burning. Turn on the overhead fan, add the balsamic and continue swirling until the vinegar mixes with the caramel (be aware that the fumes from the vinegar can be very strong!).
Scatter the tomatoes onto the caramel, then sprinkle with the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper. Roll out the puff pastry into a circle about 1 inch larger than the diameter of your pan and transfer the pastry to cover the tomatoes. Tuck edges under and cut several long vents in the pastry.
Bake the tart until the crust if puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. Let stand an additional 30 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the pastry, and
turning it out onto a platter. Cut into wedges and serve immediately. After a few hours the crust will get soggy, so be sure to serve and eat the whole tart at once.
Grilled Caprese Salad with Green Heirloom Tomatoes
Submitted by Kara and Marni Powers of the North Shore. They get their tomatoes at the many Cape Ann farmers markets, and they find their copy of Edible Boston at Russell Orchards and Ryan & Wood in Ipswich.
Here is a twist on the classic caprese salad: unripe, green tomatoes are marinated and then grilled, giving a nice smoky char to the traditional recipe. Serve with grilled bread.
Serves 4-5 as a side dish or 2-3 as a main course
2-3 large green heirloom tomatoes, sliced
into ½-inch thick slices
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
¼ cup fresh basil, julienned
In a large ziplock bag, mix the tomatoes, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Place the bag in the refrigerator and allow the tomatoes to marinate for 1 hour.
Light the grill. Remove the tomatoes from the marinade and grill 3 minutes each side. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Assemble the salad on a platter, alternating the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Drizzle the leftover marinade over the salad, sprinkle with basil and some more salt + pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Grilled Shrimp with Tomato Jam
Submitted by Joel Parisi of Sarasota, Florida. He gets his tomatoes at Idywilde Farm in Acton and Kings Farm in Florida, and picks up his copy of Edible Boston at The Local Table in Acton.
This recipe is twofold: first you make the jam, which is delicious on its own (or served with cheese), and then you use the jam to marinate the shrimp before grilling. Serve with a wedge of lemon or lime.
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup sherry
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
5-6 large tomatoes peeled, seeded, and
chopped or 35 oz can drained
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons honey
1 pound shrimp shelled deveined
1 teaspoon siracha, optional
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir until fragrant and soft. Add vinegar, sherry, and cinnamon and stir until it resembles a glaze (4 to 5 minutes). Stir in tomatoes, sugar, cumin, cayenne, and cloves. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 1 hour, until liquid has evaporated.
Stir in honey, black pepper and salt. Use a blender or a potato masher to puree to your desired consistency. Allow to cool completely.
Once cooled, stir together half of the jam mixture with the siracha (optional: the jam is nicely spicy as is, but if you like spicier food, add the siracha).
Skewer the shrimp and grill for about 2 minutes per side. Serve grilled shrimp with remaining jam and a wedge of lemon or lime.
Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
Submitted by Andrew Cantella of Back Bay, Boston. He gets his tomatoes at the Copley Square Farmers Market, and finds his copy of Edible Boston at Island Creek Oyster Bar.
Below is my favorite tomato recipe I’ve been trying to perfect this summer. Try it using large cherry tomatoes as a cocktail hors d’oeuvre, or serve larger ones as a first course.
4 Roma tomatoes, or more smaller tomatoes
¾ cup crumbled blue cheese, like Great Hill Blue from Marion, MA
½ cup chopped cooked bacon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°.
In a small bowl, mix together the blue cheese, bacon, olive oil, basil, and black pepper.
Slice off the tops of the tomatoes and hollow them out using a paring knife or a melon baller. Fill each tomato with some of the cheese mixture and top with a few pinches of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, enough to cover the blue cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top. Serve immediately, or at room temperature.
Tomato, Cheddar, and Basil Summer Pie
Submitted by Meg Jones Wall of Somerville. She gets her tomatoes at the Union Square Farmers Market, and finds her copy of Edible Boston at Taza Chocolate.
This pie is my favorite summer tomato recipe—the base is a buttermilk-cheddar biscuit dough, and it’s filled with layers of tomatoes and cheese. It’s delicious either hot or cold, and works with any type of tomato (or cheese), and any leftovers can be reheated for a very fine breakfast!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup cold buttermilk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 pounds assorted ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced
2½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 scallion, trimmed and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
Preheat oven to 425°.
Lay the tomato slices on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and top with more paper towels to absorb their liquid. Allow to drain for 30 minutes while you make the crust.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Keep the mixer on low and gradually add the chopped butter until it’s the size of peas. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together, then quickly add it to the flour and butter mixture, stirring on low until just combined. Add the grated cheese, stir until just incorporated, then turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Knead a few times until smooth, then roll out with a floured rolling pin to an 11-12 inch round. Fold into quarters and transfer into a 9-inch Pyrex pie dish, gently unfold the crust, press into the bottom of the dish, and cover with a dry cloth until ready to fill.
Combine the remaining cheddar and the Parmigiano in a bowl, then remove ¼ cup to reserve for topping. In another small bowl, stir together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, scallion, salt, and pepper.
Sprinkle a handful of cheese onto the bottom of the crust and top with a layer of tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, drizzle on some of the oil-vinegar mix, then top with more cheese and some basil. Continue making layers like this until all the ingredients are used up, being sure to save your prettiest tomatoes for the top layer. Finish with the reserved cheese mixture and some basil, then fold the overhanging crust onto the top layer of filling, like a crostata.
Bake until crust is light golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Check halfway through baking to make sure the crust isn’t getting too dark—tent with foil if needed. Allow the pie to rest at least an hour before serving.