September 12, 2012
Sometimes, things just make sense. Like when two fantastic food concepts smash together in just the right way.
Fried green tomatoes are crispy and golden and fantastic by themselves… but stack them with fresh mozzarella and basil and a good heavy drizzle of balsamic reduction, and it’s the most unique and hearty caprese salad I’ve ever seen. And just look how pretty.
Can’t you imagine serving this as an appetizer at a dinner party, arranged willy-nilly on a big platter with basil leaves and balsamic scattered all over? But it’s simple enough to make for lunch today. Because the tomatoes are baked for a while, it doesn’t matter as much that tomatoes are sneaking out of season as we speak. Just get on it and make these ASAP before they’re all gone until next year!
August 30, 2012
This is the kind of dish that completely depends on high quality ingredients: fresh, gorgeous tomatoes and excellent butter.
I first encountered Cœur de Bœuf tomatoes, a cousin of the American beefsteak tomato, at Ô Chateau in a lovely salad preparation. Its uneven ridges create very small pockets of seeds inside the fruit, so the flesh is not nearly as watery as other tomato varieties. Substantial and fleshy, this variety is perfect for slicing thick and eating raw.
I can’t get over how pretty these slices are, arranged on a big plate — like big tomato flowers.
August 9, 2012
I used to hate tomatoes. No joke. When I was in high school, and well into college, I refused to eat fresh tomatoes unless absolutely necessary. I was fine with tomato products — after all, what kind of person eats a white pizza anyway? — but present me with a sandwich with fresh tomato and I would pick out any offending slices.
Wrong. I was so, so wrong.
I saw the light when I was presented with a slice of salt-and-peppered black brandywine tomato at the Santa Monica farmer’s market. This was nothing like the anemic specimens I was used to seeing at the grocery store. Richly red and green and brown, it promised real flavor, not the bland wateriness of the tomatoes of my past. Chew, chew, swallow, and I was a changed girl.
May 30, 2012
Dan talked me through preparing this dish (while he grilled garlic rosemary lamb chops on his deck) when we stayed at his place in Amsterdam last weekend. It’s an extremely simplified version of bruschetta, designed to be served family-style, preferably with a half-dozen friends and a few good beers.