My friend Lesley and her family bought a farmhouse, so after one too many glasses of wine we decided to plant an epic vegetable garden – it was my responsibility to order the seeds and raise them to transplant size. About three hours and $300.00 later I had bought nearly everything resembling a tomato on the Baker Seed website. Now, we are swimming in tomatoes and zucchini of every heirloom variety under the sun.
Since the first full harvest of tomatoes netted over 20 pounds total and I didn’t really have enough to can but still too many to eat, I went in search of brunch recipes (to eat immediately) and preservation recipes (to eat later). I turned up many a tart and an old favorite recipe for what in my home we affectionately refer to as “crack tomatoes” which are perfect for winter TLT sandwiches when you’re say mid-February and there is no sign of spring in sight.
- 2-4 C cherry, grape, pear or other smallish tomato, cut in halves (any tomato will work here really)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or maple syrup)
- scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt
On jelly roll pan lined with foil or parchment (or glass dish – you will want to be sure you have sides) place tomato halves in a single layer, drizzle with EVOO, brown sugar (or maple syrup) and sea salt, let bake in a 400 degree oven until they have just begun to brown (you don’t want them crispy). Remove from oven, let cool and spoon into pint containers or freezer bags and freeze. If you put these in glass canning jars, you can easily remove the lid and rim and pop into the micro when you are ready to serve. The oil from the pan keeps them luxurious all winter in the deep freeze.
- 1 recipe from scratch, or 1 refrigerated, or 1 frozen pie crust
- 3 large heirloom tomatoes
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 1 – 4oz log goat cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh basil, torn into bits or ribbons
Pre-bake pie crust x 5-7 minutes until the space where the filling will end up is firm, almost has a crust formed (this will keep it from getting smushy). While crust is baking slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch wide, lay on paper town and blot with paper towel until most of the immediate moisture has been mopped up. Lightly beat eggs with salt and pepper (okay to use egg whites only here too), set aside. When pie crust is 1/2 done, pull from oven and pour eggs into crust, take goat cheese and drop by small chunks onto eggs, layer with overlapping tomato slices – place back into oven and cook at 400 until eggs are set (between 15-30 minutes). Let cool to room temperature and serve sprinkled with fresh basil.
I make your tomato jam all the time! Roberta
Roberta F. King, author of He Plays a Harp