Tomatoes Archive

Friday, September 4, 2009

corn bread salad

cornbread salad

You wouldn’t believe how I have stalked this salad. It started when I bookmarked it nearly three years ago. Three! Each and every summer, it has managed to get lost in the shuffle of tomato season. This summer I decided it would be made no matter what only to discover that the link I had to the recipe no longer worked and that — huh? — I apparently didn’t own or couldn’t find the cookbook it came from. Amazon fixed that a week later, and I set to making it for a barbecue last weekend, only for the barbecue plans to fall through as heirloom tomatoes grew soft on our counter. One thing after another got in the way of this salad this week — first we were out of buttermilk, then basil, then daylight, then energy… — until I finally dug my heels in last night and decided that we would have corn bread salad with dinner or else. I know, I’m so intimidating when I threaten salad.

heirloom tomatoes
chopped heirlooms

I’m so sorry I waited so long. This salad is the height of peak-summer awesomeness, a kind of Southern answer to Italian Panzanella — with cornbread for the croutons, buttermilk-lime dressing for the olive oil and red wine vinegar and soft lettuces for the chunky vegetables. It was a shame we weren’t eating it on a wrap-around porch somewhere, with sweet tea in tall glasses and a basket of room-temperature fried chicken, but it doesn’t mean that you can make that happen this holiday weekend.

toasted cornbread cubes
Continued after the jump »

Thursday, August 27, 2009

tomato and corn pie

tomato and corn pie

Let me tell you about something that always happens, and it’s the best thing, ever: A month or so ago, a reader emailed me and asked me if I’d ever tried a tomato pie. No, not the Italian-American tomato pie seen in New York and New Jersey — a thick, bready pizza dough slathered with sauce and broiled with Romano cheese on top then served in squares — but a Southern thing, baked in a pie shell. Where I’m from, “tomato pie” is the Italian-ish thing I’ve described it above, thus I responded that I’ve never heard of it before and added “but mark my words, not two days after I send off this email, I will have heard about it three times.”

white cornbeefsteak!peeled, sliced beefsteak tomatoesfresh white corn

Sure enough, tomato pie is everywhere this summer. I’ve seen a version from Paula Deen, Elise has a version up at Simply Recipes and my good old August Gourmet magazine — as packed with an impossible level of late-summer inspiration — adapts Laurie Colwin’s (remember her? We love her.) and James Beard’s (remember him? We love him.) nearly 20 year old version to include market-fresh corn, and updating the crust with a biscuit-like dough.

all piled up

Continued after the jump »

Monday, August 24, 2009

cubed, hacked caprese

cubed, hacked caprese

When it comes to off-the-cuff and mostly unplanned cooking, I have a tendency to do this thing that, depending on your perspective, is either a total shame or completely understandable: I don’t tell you about it. I’ll have thrown together a salad or a sandwich or some odd assortment of vegetables and couscous and made us lunch or dinner and Alex will say, “will you put this on your site?” and I’ll say “Of course not. Is there some shortage of recipes for sandwiches or roasted vegetables on the internet? Feh, it would be totally boring content.” [Yes, I actually talk like this. It's embarrassing and I should keep to myself.]

mozzarella

Anyway, I made one of these Deb Dishes the other night and again snorted when Alex suggested I share it with you, until I was about three-quarters of the way done with mine and I realized that just because talking about caprese, or my own hacked version of it, isn’t exactly the height of cooking originality, doesn’t mean that someone wouldn’t enjoy eating exactly what we had in front of us.

diced

So let’s talk about this cubed-up caprese salad I often make for barbecues or pot-lucks or whenever I want to eat something really summery without doing more than a lick of work: I dice mozzarella and tomatoes together, drain and rinse a can of white beans and toss it with a mixture of pesto (though slivered basil works in a pinch) and red wine vinegar and season it generously with salt and pepper. Sometimes I even add bits of proscuitto, if we have any around, and I’m feeling wild. Yes, revolutionary, I know.

pesto-addled caprese

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

pasta with favas, tomatoes and sausage

pasta with favas and sausage

I wish I could tell you that the last meal cooked in the first Smitten Kitchen was a triumph, a fitting coda to four-plus years in a sun-drenched Manhattan kitchen with enough space to put everything away (not that I’m pointing fingers or anything, new kitchen) and space enough for two people (and at least one growing midsection) to settle comfortably within it. Alas, that was not the case.

blanching fresh favas

Instead it was prepared in the evening (when even the skylight couldn’t be taken advantage of), in kind of rushed (as in, “why am I cooking dinner when I should be packing things, or pretending to pack things while actually reading the internet?”) and was less of a “I’ve always wanted to make this” and more of a “if we’re packing up the kitchen tomorrow, let’s get on last meal in tonight.” Ah, the glamor! But isn’t this so often what weekday night cooking is about?

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, September 21, 2008

summer’s last hurrah panzanella

summer's last hurrah panzanella

In the last few days, New York City has gotten the most delicious nip to its breezes; drier air and clear skies have set in and despite that fact that I maintain that I don’t wish summer to end, it’s not holding up when I hit the Greenmarket and go a little berserk over apples and squash and things that have nothing to do with stone fruit. I’m a sucker for New York in the fall. It always wins.

leftover colwin bread cubes

Nevertheless, before I go whole-squash into the colder months, I had to have one last hurrah with summer before I admit that I’m finally no longer incessantly craving it, and there’s no better way to take in late-summer produce than with a panzanella. I’ve made this one before, but it was years ago, which means in Internet-speak, it’s probably dead to all of you and due for a revival.

panzanella pretty

Continued after the jump »


css.php