The end of summer feels slightly nostalgic - no matter how old I get, I still get a back-to-school pang around this time. The sun doesn't stay out quite as late, new binders line the drug store shelves, "Fall trends" are popping up in store windows. But one part of summer is still going strong this late in the game: the produce! Tomatoes, corn, and peaches haven't given up on summer vacation yet - they're just hitting their stride.
One of my favorites this time of year are the heirloom tomatoes you find in rows and rows at the farmers market. Even my neighborhood Brooklyn grocery store has cartons of heirloom cherry tomatoes, striated in color and seeming to burst with flavorful juices. Pick up a pint or two and let summer have its due. Here are three simple ways to showcase them. I plan on using those roasted ones layered on top of some ricotta cheese on crostini. The fish recipe is so simple but elegant - it would make a great weeknight company meal.
Or you can just pop them in your mouth as is...
1. Pickled Cherry Tomatoes (via EatingAppalacia.com)
- 1 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 water
- 8 tsp sea salt
- 4 tsp sugar
- 24 oz cherry tomatoes
- 1 bulb garlic
- 4 jalapeno peppers
- Pour vinegar and water into small saucepan. Add salt and sugar. Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, slice the jalapenos into rounds and the garlic into slivers (I used 1 clove garlic per 1/2 pint jar). Set aside.
- Fill sterilized canning jars with the cherry tomatoes. Place several rounds of jalapeno and several garlic slivers in the jars with the tomatoes. Fill with vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2 head space.
- Process in a hot water bath or pressure canner per USDA guidelines (10 minutes +/- depending on elevation)
2. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (via FoodNetwork.com)
- 4 pints cherry tomatoes
- Good olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 20 fresh basil leaves, chopped or julienned
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil on a sheet pan. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast 15 - 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.
- Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with basil leaves and sea salt. Serve hot or at room temperature.
3. Quick Fish Fillets in Tomato Sauce (via Saveur.com)
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 (4-oz.) skin-on fish fillets, such as bass or snapper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1½ lb. cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- Heat oil in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season fish with salt and pepper and add to skillet, skin side down. Cook until skin is browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove from skillet; set aside. Add onions to pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, cover with lid, and cook until soft and releasing their juices, about 8 minutes. Add fish, skin side up, and cook until done, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.