It’s harvest season for tomatoes and you can find a huge variety of shapes and sizes in your local grocery store and farmers market. Tomatoes are incredibly versatile because they can be prepared in so many ways. Here are two of my favorite recipes. The first makes a great appetizer and the second can be served as a first course, main dish or a side.
makes 30 cherry tomato appetizers
30 Cherry Tomatoes
Juice of 1/2 of a Lime
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
2 tbl Finely Minced Shallots
1 sm Jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
2 tbl chopped Cilantro
With each tomato, slice off the top. Then, slice a very tiny portion off the bottom so that it won’t roll around on a platter. Be careful not to cut into the center of the tomato. Using a sharp knife slice into the membrane along the inner wall of the tomato to release the insides. Be careful not to cut through the wall of the tomato. Using a small spoon (I actually use a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon), scoop out meat of the tomato. Turn it upside down on a paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining tomatoes.
Seed and peel the avocado. Smash the avocado with the salt and cumin and mix with a fork until smooth. Transfer ingredients to a disposable bag and cut a small portion out of one corner.
Arrange tomatoes on a serving platter. Place about 1/4 teaspoon of shallots in the bottom of each tomato. Squeeze avocado into each tomato filling it up and above the top. Sprinkle chili powder on top, followed by jalapeño and cilantro. Serve at room temperature.
Heirloom Tomato Tart
makes 6-8 servings
1 1/4 cu All Purpose Flour
6 tbl Cold Butter, diced
3 oz Cream Cheese, cut or torn into small pieces
2 lb Heirloom Tomatoes
2 oz Spreadable (whipped) Cream Cheese
1/2 tsp Fresh Rosemary, finely minced
3/4 cu Shredded Mozzarella
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Fresh Oregano, finely minced
1 tbl Fresh Basil, chiffonade
2 tbl Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 lg Egg, whisked in a small bowl
Prepare Crust: Place flour, butter and cream cheese in a food pressor and blend until mixture comes together. Remove dough and any small pieces combine into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.
Meanwhile, cut tomatoes into thing slices and place on paper towels to remove excess moisture. Add a layer of paper towel on top.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough has chilled, place it on a lightly floured board. Roll it out to about a 13” circle. Transfer dough to a floured piece of parchment or wax paper. Spread cream cheese to form a 8” circle in the center of the dough. Top with rosemary and half of the mozzarella cheese. Arrange half of the tomatoes on top of the cheese, overlapping slices and mixing colors. Add a pinch of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon), half of the basil, all of the oregano and the remaining mozzarella cheese. Arrange the remaining tomatoes on top and add another pinch of salt. Cover tomatoes with remaining basil and the parmesan cheese.
Gently bring up the excess dough to contain the filling, overlapping it onto itself to create the complete tart. Slide the parchment onto a baking sheet (lined with a baking pad or silpat if you have it). Use a pasty brush to bush the egg mixture on all exposed dough surfaces.
Bake tart for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let tart rest for 10 minutes before slicing.