2 Great Recipes To Use Up Those Summer Tomatoes

I get married in less than two weeks.   This past weekend was my last weekend in KC before heading to Maine for the wedding.  You’d think I’d be running around worrying about last-minute wedding details.  Instead, I was worrying about what to do with the piles of tomatoes on my kitchen counter.  Wedding details can wait – we’ve got another 12 days, those tomatoes, however, required my immediate attention.  Priorities, people!

These recipes are perfect for using up those tomatoes that have been sitting around for a while.  You know the ones I’m talking about – they’re not good enough to showcase in a caprese salad, but while their skin is a little wrinkled, they still taste great!

tomatoes1

Ina Garten’s Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

Recipes for tomato soup with fresh tomatoes are not as common as you’d think.  Maybe people figure nobody wants to eat a hot soup in the dead of summer, but I have been told that warming up your internal temperature makes the hot temps outside feel cooler.

tomato soup

Ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion (i used yellow, recipe calls for red)

2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped

1 tbsp minced garlic

8 cups vine ripened tomatoes, chopped – this is about 4 – 5 lbs

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more for serving

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock – low sodium  (see note below)

salt and pepper, to taste, at end

3/4 cup half and half

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and carrots and sauté until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add all other ingredients and enough chicken or vegetable stock to cover the veggies.  Ina’s recipe calls to add salt and pepper at this point, but I think it’s best to wait until the end.  The chicken stock I used was very salty and with the addition of the tablespoon of salt the recipe calls for, the soup was almost too salty to eat! We ended up adding in more tomatoes (luckily, we have a ton on hand) and water to dilute the salty flavor.

Garnish with julienned fresh basil and croutons.  We also found that adding those little balls of fresh mozzarella is great!

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Surprise Tatin from Plenty

This cookbook is everywhere I turn lately and I was so excited when we were gifted it from our registry.  We looked through the entire cookbook, mouths watering. Dan didn’t even realize it is a vegetarian cookbook it all looks so good! One of the first recipes that caught my eye was the Surprise Tatin, so when I saw new potatoes at this weekend’s farmers’ market and thought about the abundance of cherry tomatoes we have in our garden, I knew exactly what to do.  Let me just tell you, this recipe lives up to expectations and then some.  It’s worth the effort.

tart

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing the pan

1 lb new potatoes, skins on (this was about 7 new potatoes for me – you will cut them into 1″ rounds and need enough to cover a 9″ cake pan)

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

5 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp butter

3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed from stems

2 sprigs sage, whole leaves or chopped leaves

small package goat cheese, sliced into thin rounds

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 275˚F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Halve the cherry tomatoes, place them skin side down on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, put the new potatoes in a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 25 minutes or until fork-tender.  When they are done, drain them and cool them.  You can run some cold water over them if necessary.  Slice off the ends, and then cut the rest into 1″ rounds.

Also, sauté the onion in some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. The onion should caramelize and get a little brown.

Brush a 9″ cake pan with oil and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. (Trace the outline of pan onto the parchment paper, then cut the circle.  Kindergarten crafts prepare us so well for real life :).

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and sugar until lightly caramelized. Swirl the sugar and butter around in the pan to ensure even cooking.  Watch this closely! It will burn quickly! When it’s a caramel color, remove it quickly from the heat and pour it over the parchment circle in the 9″ cake pan. Try your best to spread it in an even layer over the whole pan, but don’t worry if it cools too quickly to completely cover the pan. It will still taste delicious. I promise.

Sprinkle the caramel with thyme leaves and sage leaves.

Spread the potato rounds over the caramel and herbs. Place them close together to form a uniform layer.

Take the cooked tomatoes and onions and spread them over the potatoes, pushing them into any spaces between the potatoes. Be careful if they’re still hot!

Spread the goat cheese rounds over the vegetables. Again, trying to form an even layer.

Roll out your puff pastry on a cool, floured surface to a 10″ circle.  Lay this over the tart and push the extra edges up the inside of the sides of the pan to form a crust. If it’s more like a square/rectangle, that’s okay, you just need it to be big enough to cover the entire tart and push up around the sides.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Bake the tart for 25 minutes at this temperature.  Then reduce the temperature to 350˚ and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the puff pastry is lightly browned and fluffy.  Remove tart from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes.  Carefully place a plate on top of the tart and quickly invert! Lift off the pan. Hold your breath and hope for success! Then, dig in!

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