Late-summer tomatoes recipe round-up

They’re still here…
Summer tomatoes, that is. And I’m taking advantage of every. last. one. Last autumn one of our favorite farmstands stayed stocked with beautiful heirloom tomatoes through early October, and I’m crossing my fingers that this year we’ll have another long tomato season. I can’t get enough!
So, it goes without saying that it’s been a tomato-heavy week over here in the urban kitchen apothecary.
All colors and sizes of heirlooms were eaten simply sliced and topped with peppery olive oil, fresh basil and gomasio.
But some fancier preparations happened, too. Easy and festive – my favorite combination! These three have been my favorites, and I decided to roll them all up into one post, because there’s no time to waste….
My new spin on a late-summer panzanella.
Baked eggs in a sweet and spicy cherry tomato and bell pepper sauce.
Slow-roasted sungold tomatoes on toast with pine nut cream.
Without further ado, let’s get to the recipes, shall we?

Late-summer panzanella

Serves 4

I was out of fresh herbs on the day I made this classic tomato and bread salad — it was delicious without them but is even better with, so include them if possible.

extra virgin olive oil

4 thick slices day-old country bread (I used sourdough batard), cut into 1-inch cubes

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium-size zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch half-moons

1 large heirloom tomato

1 small bell pepper

1/4 cup kalamata olives

1 small fresh red chile, thinly sliced (I used a Tobago chile) (optional)

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes

juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon fennel seed gomasio (or 1 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds + a pinch of salt)

1 teaspoon honey or agave

1/4 cup roughly torn basil or fresh parsley

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bread cubes and toast until crispy and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the hot skillet and add zucchini and a pinch of salt. Sear zucchini for 2 to 3 minutes until the zucchini has some color but is still crispy-tender. Transfer to bowl with bread cubes. Add tomato, bell pepper, olives, and red chile.

In a separate small bowl whisk together lemon and lime juice, fennel seed gomasio, and honey. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and whisk until combined. Pour over bread mixture. Add basil or parsley and toss to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature.

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Baked eggs with sweet and spicy cherry tomato and bell pepper sauce

Serves 1-2

Served with thick slices of toasted country bread this makes the most delicious and satisfying one-skillet brunch (or dinner).

extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small red or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 small fresh red chile, thinly sliced (or a pinch of crushed red chile)

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

pinch of dried herbes de provence

2 or 3 extra large eggs

garnishes:

chopped flat-leaf parsley

fennel seed gomasio

sourdough bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 9-inch skillet. Add bell pepper and a pinch of salt and cook until pepper starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red chile and cook for a minute more.

Add tomatoes to skillet and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Simmer until tomatoes have broken down and turned thick and saucy, 8 to 10 minutes.

Clear two or three areas in the pan, depending on the number of eggs you are using. Crack an egg into a small bowl or ramekin and gently lower it into one of these cleared areas; repeat with remaining eggs. Season eggs with a pinch of salt and transfer to the oven. Bake until eggs are set, 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve with garnishes of your choice, a drizzle of olive oil, and warm crusty bread or toast.

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Slow-roasted cherry tomato crostini with pine nut cream 

Serves 4 to 6 as a starter or app

Inspired by the cherry tomato crostini with burrata that I fell in love with at our favorite Italian wine bar this summer, this dairy-free version makes a perfect snack or app. Trust me, you can’t eat just one.

3 cups cherry tomatoes (I used sungolds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
½ cup raw pine nuts
1 small garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chickpea miso
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 to 3 tablespoons water
4 slices of country sourdough bread (or 6 slices of baguette), toasted
aged balsamic vinegar
thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 300F.

Arrange the cherry tomatoes in a single layer on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper, tossing gently to coat the tomatoes. Bake for 1 hour, turn oven off, and leave tomatoes in oven for 1 hour more.

In a small food processor or blender combine pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, miso, olive oil, salt and 2 tablespoons water. Blend until smooth (if using a food processor it may remain slightly chunky). Add additional 1 tablespoon water if needed to achieve a creamy consistency. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Set aside (can be chilled in refrigerator up to 24 hours).

When ready to serve, toast bread slices. If using larger slices cut the toasts into 2 or 3 pieces. Spread each crostini with about 1 tablespoon of the pine nut cream. Arrange a few tomatoes on top, drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle with basil.

 

Creamy & dairy-free pine nut mascarpone – so luscious! Also doubles an aioli for dipping baked sweet potato wedges (definitely do that!).

 

The finished crostini — a perfect balance of flavors and textures: creamy – crunchy – sweet – tangy  – and lots of umami from those slow roasted tomatoes.

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