I can't stop myself from buying pints - no quarts - of cute and brightly colored tomatoes at the farmer's market. Every week, I check off my list of market needs and every single week, grab a couple little wooden boxes of rosy, orange, yellow, and those gorgeous, ombre-purple-green tomatoes. I truly cannot resist those jellybean-like summer treasures. They make me so happy!
Every week they pile up on my kitchen island and sit. I use them in salads and sure, I grab a couple every time I walk by and nibble on them, but for the most part - and I am embarrassed to say this - they go to waste. Too many tomatoes and not enough time to eat them all.
With an eye on using produce, eating healthfully, and still craving comfort food, I am turning my tomato stash into a bubbly, cheesy cobbler topped with buttery biscuits. This recipe is worth turning on the oven for and grabbing yet another container of tomatoes. This makes for a delicious entrée served with a summer salad (maybe more tomatoes?) or as an accompaniment to grilled fish.
Grape Tomato-Cheese Cobbler
Serves 4 as an entrée or 5-6 as a side
3 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
3 large tomatoes (about 1 pound), diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Several basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup cornstarch
1. Butter a 13x9 baking dish or 2-quart skillet; and preheat oven to 350F or grill to medium-high
2. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat.
3. Add shallots and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add diced tomatoes and continue cooking until they release their juices (about 3-5 minutes). Add garlic, brown sugar, grape tomatoes, cayenne, thyme, basil, and cornstarch. Stir to combine and transfer to buttered dish.
For the Cheese Biscuit Topping
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons COLD butter, cut into cubes
6 ounces sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup WHOLE milk yogurt or sour cream
3 tablespoons chives
Topping: melted butter, 3 tablespoon grated cheddar cheese
1. Pulse flour, baking powder, soda, sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper in a food processor until combined.
2. Pulse in butter, cheese, yogurt, and chives until a soft-wet dough is formed.
3. Drop biscuit dough on tomato mixture in 8 balls to form biscuits. Brush with butter and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until biscuits are browned and tomato mixture is bubbly.
4. Serve cobbler warm with crisp salad.
Laura Frankel is a noted kosher chef, a cookbook author, and Culinary Director for a media company. Currently, she serves as Director of Catering at Circle of Life catering at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El.