Summer. Summer. Summer... The season where shivering is banished. When the northern hemisphere is alive with glowing, powerful warmth. I love it when the whole countryside groans in moisture as the tree frogs and cicadas sing their song of sweltering joy. And, I love how the last bit of summer heat makes grapes burst into perfection. Corn begin to plump. And tomatoes grow into the best food ever.
I’m sharing two simple and delicious recipes that make tomatoes the star. First the exquisite gift of my new go-to garnish: Candied Heirloom Tomatoes. To start with, those three words just bring joy to my heart, and then secondly there are so many options for this crowing bite of flavor.
The "candied" part is due to slow roasting with brown sugar and rosemary on top of thick tomato slices. It makes them indispensable.
Stir these into soups. Put them atop a chunk of artisan bread with cheese or meat and you have the best appetizer ever. Crown a pasta, or just pop them in your mouth without a second thought. Yes, they're THAT good.
How did I begin? Using firm, sweet, and brightly colored heirlooms from your favorite farmer’s market will give you the best results. And nice thick slices help you preserve the shape of what the tomato was before you perfumed and roasted it into amazingness. Sugar and heat are about as magic as the words “bibbity-bobbity-boo!” when it comes to creating deliciousness. And in only 30 – 40 minutes you have something that helps you understand why heat and summer can be your best friend.
Next is the recipe for the most colorful salad possible. It mimics one of our favorite Italian starters but in salad form. Picking from all sorts of heirloom tomatoes, using the freshest mozzarella, and even FRESHER basil, all topped with a lemon vinaigrette will make you wish summer would never end.
In hindsight, I should have made the largest batches possible of my Caprese Heirloom Tomato Salad because resisting the urge to eat mounds of this salad are futile! Perfectly sweet, tart, tangy, and fresh are the winning combinations for the perfect summer, and the perfect summer food.
Keep scrolling to read and download both of these sweet perfections.
RECIPE: Candied Heirloom Tomatoes
A Selection of small and firm heirloom tomatoes of various colors
2 T light oil for each 6 tomatoes
1 ½ t kosher salt and ½ t cracked black pepper for each 6 tomatoes
4-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
½ t of brown sugar to top each slice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Carefully shave the top and bottom off each tomato so they stay upright. Cut each into 1 inch slices. Toss them with salt, pepper and oil. Place each on a cookie sheet and lightly sprinkle with a bit more kosher salt. Nestle sprigs of rosemary around the tomatoes to perfume them while roasting. Dot each slice with the brown sugar. Roast for about 30 minutes or until sugars caramelize and tomatoes are shriveled. Remove with small spatula to try and maintain shape. Cool. Use to garnish everything from pasta, to steak, to chicken, to bruschetta!
RECIPE: Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.