Monday, August 20, 2012

Notes From Nikki-Tomato Soup and Haricot Vert in Heirloom Tomato Reduction

Roasted Tomato Soup with Farmhouse Cheddar Toasts
I put all those tomatoes from this week's share to good use in this delightfully tomato-centric dish that features oven-roasted tomatoes, fresh rosemary, local honey, and farmhouse cheddar cheese toasts. So good! This recipe can easily be halved. Our family of six had just a small amount leftover though, and it saves quite well. You can even freeze it. We used two whole loaves of La Brea organic wheat bread and 2 little blocks (4-6 oz each) of imported English farmhouse cheddar for the toasts. You could easily have enough toasts using half that amount (as indicated in the recipe), but I knew my family would want extra. :-) I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
12-18 tomatoes (depending on size), lightly cored (just the tippy top) and halved (I used a variety of heirlooms, paste, and slicing... see photo below)

4 sprigs of rosemary, stemmed

2-3 T local honey

3-4 T extra virgin olive oil

1-2 T balsamic vinegar

2-3 T butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

4-6 C stock (I used homemade chicken, vegetable would work too.. go for something mild though that won't take away from the roasted tomato flavor)

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

Generous splash or two of half and half or cream

1-2 whole loaves fresh bread, sliced fairly thin, slices halved

6-12 oz farmhouse cheddar, thinly sliced or shaved

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, in 2 baking dishes and drizzle with the olive oil, balsamic, and honey. Sprinkle the rosemary leaves over top (save a bit for garnish).
3. Roast the tomatoes until they start to brown on top and are about to fall apart (20-30 minutes).
4. While the tomatoes are roasting, spread the bread slices out onto baking sheets and top with the sliced/shaved cheddar. Set aside.
5. Saute the onion and garlic in the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot until the onions are soft and just starting to caramelize. If they finish before the tomatoes are done roasting, kill the heat.
6. Once the tomatoes are done, add them along with their accumulated juices to the pot with the onions and garlic. Turn the heat down in the oven to 375 and put the bread and cheese in, toasting until crispy and golden (5-7 minutes, tops).
7. Add the stock to the pot (start with 4 C and add more later if you want a thinner soup), and toss in some sea salt and pepper. Give the lot a good stir.
8. If you haven't turned off the heat already, do so now, and use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth.
9. Add in the half and half.
10. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
11. Serve topped with a floating toast, a few rosemary leaves, and a bit of fresh ground pepper.

Roasted Haricot Verts in a Velvety Heirloom Tomato Reduction
As fancy as the title sounds, this recipe is really quite simple. It's basically roasted green beans in tomato sauce. I labeled it a reduction as opposed to a sauce because I allowed it to simmer a bit longer than usual so that it thickened up nicely and clung to the beans. The butter in the sauce helps to make it all velvety and smooth. You can use olive oil instead, but I don't recommend it. If you want to make it truly posh, you'll need to blanch and peel the tomatoes first (or fish the skins out of the finished sauce, an arduous task at best :-}). I did not do this. I happen to like tomato skins, and tend to make all of my dishes more "rustic" by leaving the skins on just about everything (sans bananas and oranges ;-)).
The girls in our family topped our servings with local Highland Farm's sheep feta (available in the Inverbrook Distribution Shed fridge), but the boys topped theirs with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Either way, it's quite delicious, if I do say so myself.

1 lb haricot verts, stemmed

Glug of extra virgin olive oil

2 T + 1 T butter

1 large-ish yellow onion, thinly sliced (shallots would be lovely here too)

5-6 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced

Generous splash of white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)

3-4 C cored and chopped heirloom tomatoes

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

Pinch or two of red pepper flakes (optional)

Handful of lemon basil leaves, torn (you can also use regular basil and add a splash of lemon juice and a bit of zest)

Feta or Parm for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Drizzle the olive oil over a roasting pan and spread the green beans evenly over top. Season with a bit of sea salt and pepper.
3. Shake the pan so that the oil coats it somewhat evenly, and roast the beans until firm tender.
4. While the beans are roasting, saute the onions and garlic in 2 T of butter over medium heat until the onions start to caramelize.
5. Add in a generous splash of white wine and simmer for a few minutes until it is significantly reduced.
6. Add the tomatoes, along with some sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and simmer uncovered until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens to your liking.
7. Add in the other T of butter and stir until smooth and velvety.
8. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
9. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon basil and the roasted beans.
10. Serve topped with crumbled feta or shaved or shredded parmesan.
Serves 6

1 comment:

Beth Ann Rosica said...

I plan to make marinara sauce with my tomatoes this week. Yum! But I will save this recipes, they sound great!