Heirloom tomato surplus
- Sasha Aug 1, 2005 05:11 PM
We have more than we know what to do with. I have given a number away but I would really like to use them, having waited patiently as they grew. We have eaten them straight, in vegetable salads, sandwiches, caprese, italian bread salad, salsa. Are there any great recipes out there? We aren't fond of tomato as dessert (e.g., tomato jam, tomato bread pudding).
We have mortgage lifters, pineapples, cherokees, and green zebras. Thank god the cherry tomatos are finally mostly over :)
Last night I took a red ripe tomato and a green tomato, sliced thickly and drained on paper towels then mixed together 2 Tbs. white cornmeal, 1/4 C. freshly grated romano cheese and salt and pepper. I fried them slowly in bacon fat left from the mornings breakfast. They were delicious, the contrast in flavor from tart green to sweet red was excellent and the aroma of the cheese and crunch of the cornmeal was great.
Next I plan to do a dish I have not made in years and it calls for slicing green tomatoes thickly, about 6 and this is good with red too, dredge in seasoned flour, and sautee in butter until browned on one side. Then sprinkle each slice with a little brown sugar and turn gently and cook just long enough for the sugar to caramelize. Remove to a serving platter and add about 1/2 C. heavy cream to the skillet and bring to a quick boil stirring and scraping. Pour over the tomatoes and serve. I sometimes sprinkle chopped crisb bacon on it too.
Slice and dry for 3 days in a 100 degree oven, then freeze for later use. Ideally, these "sun dried tomatoes" will be very crisp and great in sauces.
Sasha, the replies I got were great and really helpful. The harvest is winding down finally. I loved the stuffed and roasted (totally forgot about those!) When I ran some through the food mill for juice I spread the remaining pulp on cookie sheets and dried that. It made a kind of tomato leather I can use like dried tomatoes.
I'm frying a couple of green ones tonight, and will make the old southern breaded ones later this week - tomatoes, white bread and a little sugar stewed together. Okie comfort food.
Now on to an abundance of concord grapes. (and yes I have a happy neighbor!)
I love this tart. I adapted the recipe from Russ Parsons' recipe that was published in the LA Times last summer. It can be a first course or a vegetarian main course, if you add a salad and maybe another vegetable (grilled eggplant is great with it).
3 cups thinly sliced onions
2 T plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
2 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes
1 17.3 oz pkg frozen puff pastry or 2 sheets butter puff pastry, cut so 2 pieces sealed together measure 18 1/2" x9 1/2"
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup panko or fresh toasted breadcrumbs
2 T pesto
3/4 oz pecorino romano, shaved
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
Combine onions and 2 T oil in large skillet and cook, covered over medium heat until onions soften, about 15 minutes. Stir to make sure the onions aren't scorching, replace cover and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, about 45 minutes more. Cool. Cut tomatoes in half vertically and then slice each half horizontally as thinly as you can. Arrange tomatoes on jelly roll pans and sprinkle liberally with salt. Set pans at a 5" slant and let tomatoes give up their liquid for at least an hour. Heat oven to 400. Unfold puff pastry. Use a pastry brush to pain a 1" strip of egg wash along one narrow side of one puff pastry sheet. Arrange second sheet so it overlaps along painted edge and press to seal to make an 18 1/2" long x 9 1/2" wide pastry. Transfer pastry to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut 1" strips all the way around and place on top of each edge glued with egg wash. Brush with pesto, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and then scatter onions on top (will not make a uniformly thick layer). Place tomato slices on paper towels and pat dry. Arrange tomatoes in overlapping slices and alternating colors on top of onions. Add pecorino over top. Bake until pastry is puffed and dark brown, about 30 minutes. (Puff pastry can be deceiving and will look done when in fact it isn't so make sure it's really dark, but not burned, before you take it out.) Remove from oven, scatter basil leaves over top and cool 20 minutes. Serves 8.
I just made some gazpacho with leftover heirloom tomatoes and it was delicious! Recipes vary - you can probably find one on epicurious.