“Summer cooking implies a sense of immediacy, a capacity to capture the essence of the fleeting moment.” Elizabeth David, food writer (1913-1992). The above painting is by Charles Demuth, a Lancaster, PA painter who specialized in watercolors.
This summer, I decided to subscribe to Honey Brook Organic Farms for a produce box every week in the summer and early fall. I figured it would exercise the brain cells to be presented with a challenge every week. Sometimes, it has been an unwelcome challenge such as when the box has kale. I cannot abide kale but I am working on it. Sorry, I have gone off on a tangent. This week’s box was full of tomatoes and beautiful eggplant. So what follows is what I did with my mystery box bounty.
These tomatoes are great when sundried tomatoes are called for but these are much juicier and luscious. Pieces of ripe summer tomato are slow roasted with olive oil until they taste like candy.
This is definitely a bogo. If you pour off the oil,, you get a wonderful roasted tomato oil that can be used on a salad. But the tomatoes and oil are beyond delicious over pasta.
The idea for these tomatoes came from Sicilian writer Corrado Sofia who reminisces about how the women on his father’s farm used to make them in the leftover heat of the bread oven after the loaves came out. This is why in this recipe you keep turning the oven down as the tomatoes bake to recreate the gradually cooling bread oven.
2 lbs of large cherry tomatoes, 1 cup of herb seasoned olive oil, salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half. Arrange tomatoes on an oiled sheet pan. Coat the tomatoes will oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. Turn heat to 300 degrees, and bake 30 more minutes, or until edges are slightly darkened. If edges are not yet colored, turn heat down to 250 and bake another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tomatoes from the oven. Cool 20 minutes. Transfer them to a shallow glass or china dish and pour their oil over them. Let mellow, uncovered, at room temperature 4 to 6 hours.
3. Layer in a storage container, pouring in their oil, and refrigerate. To serve, drain off all oil from tomatoes and offer at room temperature. Taste for seasoning. Freeze tomatoes in their oil in sealed plastic containers up to 3 months.
This eggplant is a simple recipe but making the sauce with chopped eggplant ramps up the taste a notch.
- 2 MEDIUM SIZED ITALIAN EGGPLANT
- 1/3 CUP OF SEASONED OLIVE OIL
- 1 cup of shredded parmesan
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 CAN OF CRUSHED TOMATOES
- 1 SWEET ONION DICED
- 1/2 CUP OF DICED EGGPLANT
- 1/4 CHOPPED PARSLEY AND BASIL
- 2 TABLESPOONS OF EVOO
- 2 TABLESPOONS OF GARLIC PASTE
- SALT AND PEPPER
- Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch round
- Baste the larger sized slices with the seasoned olive oil and dice the smaller pieces
- Put slices in an iar fryer until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes
- While the eggplant is frying warm the EVOO in a pan
- Add everything but the tomatoes and sauté until golden and soft
- Add the large can of crushed tomatoes and saute another 10 minutes
- Remove eggplant from the oven
- Put a scant amount of tomato sauce in an oven proof dish
- Make a single layer of eggplant
- Dot with tomato sauce and cover with shredded parmesan
- Repeat until top layer with should be finished with shredded parmesan and shredded mozzarella
- Put in an oven set at 350 degrees and bake for approximately 30 minutes
The salad is named after the island of Capri, where it is believed to have originated. It is commonly believed that it was originally made to pay homage to the Italian flag. When I make this salad, I like to add thick slices of white peaches. It add another flavor dimension to a salad that many people have become accustomed to eating.
- 3 large heirloom tomatoes of different colors
- 2 large white peaches
- sliced mozzarella
- basalmic glaze
- basil chiffonade
- slice the tomatoes into fat slice
- Overlap the tomatoes and peaches into an eye pleasing design
- drizzle with olive oil
- drizzle basaltic glaze
- top with chiffonade of basil
I hope you enjoy these simple but delicious recipes.
Talk soon, ❤️💕 Bernadette
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