A spicy, sweet jam for tomato season
By ALISON LADMAN
Slice 'em and salt 'em.
That's really all a seasonally delicious tomato needs. Though if you really want to gussy it up, you could add a bit of pepper, a splash of olive oil, maybe a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar. Just enough of each to highlight the sweetly acidic flavor of the juicy tomato flesh.
Still, summer tends to bring an abundance of tomatoes, and after a while we find ourselves hankering for something with a little more oomph. And a salad just isn't cutting it.
So we couldn't help but dream up a few other ways to play to a tomato's strengths. We started by turning them into a spicy-sweet jam that is a perfect accompaniment to cheeses and cured meats. Or try it in place of ketchup on a burger (or over any grilled meat, for that matter). It's also amazing added to a grilled cheese.
Looking for something a bit more robust? Try our recipe for cheese-stuffed tomatoes, which fills hollowed out tomatoes with a mix of breadcrumbs and Monterey Jack cheese, then bakes them until bubbling.
SPICY-SWEET TOMATO JAM
Start to finish: 1 hour, plus cooling
Makes 3 cups
8 large tomatoes, diced
2 large yellow onions, diced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
In a large saute pan, combine all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 hour, or until thick and jammy. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Nutrition information per 1/4 cup: 90 calories; 5 calories from fat (6 percent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 18 g sugar; 1 g protein; 170 mg sodium.
Start to finish: 30 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (about 3 slices bread, finely chopped in a food processor)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 large tomatoes
Heat the oven to 400 F. Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
In a medium skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic and coriander. Cook for 5 minutes, or just until tender. Stir in the breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, pepper and cilantro.
Cut a 1/2 inch slice off the top of each tomato. Use a melon baller to scoop out the insides of the tomato, leaving the outer flesh intact. Spoon a quarter of the cheese mixture into each tomato. Arrange the filled tomatoes in the prepared pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender and bubbly.
Nutrition information per serving: 210 calories; 110 calories from fat (52 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 10 g protein; 360 mg sodium.
Grill on-the-vine tomatoes for stunning starter
By ELIZABETH KARMEL
Often, the best dishes are the simplest. A common feeling among chefs is that if you use the best-quality ingredients and treat them lightly, you will be rewarded. I couldn't agree more.
This is illustrated perfectly by this recipe for grilled tomatoes on the vine with burrata. Tomatoes with mozzarella is one of my favorite combinations, and I love it even when the tomatoes are less than perfect and the mozzarella is a little bland. But take a bunch of cherry tomatoes on the vine, grill them and serve them with burrata and some grilled bread and you've got an amazing dish!
The hardest part of this recipe is treating the fragile tomatoes carefully so that they don't fall off the vine. You want to brush or rub them with a little olive oil to protect them, then season them lightly with kosher salt. Place the tomatoes vine side up on the cooking grate and do not turn them.
The heat of the grill will intensify the natural juices and sugars, making the sweet tomatoes even more flavorful. The warm tomatoes can be served immediately with the burrata, a touch of extra-virgin olive oil, and a bit of salt and pepper. I like to serve this as a shared plate with grilled ciabatta bread.
Smear a little burrata on the ciabatta and top with a grill-roasted tomato. You can either spread the tomato, breaking the skin and smoothing out the juice on top of the cheese and olive oil, or keep it whole. Personally, I like to smear the two together, making a soft, rich juicy bite!
GRILLED TOMATOES AND BURRATA
This will become your go-to appetizer of summer. It is delicious and luxurious, but simple to make. The hardest thing about this recipe is making sure that the cherry tomatoes don't fall off the vine! Can't find burrata? Substitute a large ball of fresh mozzarella.
Start to finish: 15 minutes
2 clusters cocktail tomatoes on the vine
Extra-virgin olive oil
Flaked sea salt
16-ounce ball of burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese
Ground black pepper
Artisan bread or ciabatta, to serve
Heat a grill to medium-low.
Carefully rinse the tomatoes, but leave them on the vine. Drizzle oil over the tomatoes and lightly rub it in, then sprinkle them lightly with salt.
Place the tomatoes, vine side up, directly on the grill's cooking grate. Grill with the lid down for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are warmed through and blackened in spots. Gently remove the tomatoes.
Place the cheese on a serving plate and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then arrange the tomatoes around it. Serve with bread to sop up the juice from the tomatoes and the buratta.
Nutrition information per serving: 480 calories; 250 calories from fat (52 percent of total calories); 27 g fat (13 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 19 g protein; 620 mg sodium.