Friday, August 6, 2010

Meanwhile, back at the vegetables...

Tomato Tatin - Italian Style

I thought about kissing him when he came out of the oven.

I turned him over and fell in love. But I didn't want to blister my lips ... yet. I've been yearning to make a tomato tatin all year. My plum tomatoes weren't ready and I didn't have enough cherry tomatoes, so I used the medium sized early tomatoes and just went with it. I cored five tomatoes (and saved the juicy pulp for tomato bruschetta topping) and snuggled them into a 9-inch quiche pan. Cut side up. And roasted them.

They were brushed with olive oil and a wee bit of salt, pepper, Italian seasonings and roasted in a 425 degree F oven for 35 minutes. Do brush the bottoms well. The tatin is baked upside down and you want them to invert onto a dinner plate later. After roasting, drain any accumulated juices. You want the tart as dry as possible.
Then the fun began.

I dolloped black olive tapenade and fresh (drained) ricotta in every crevice. If I couldn't find a crevice, I just smeared it on. You can use goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, pesto or any combination that tickles your palate.

And covered it with a sheet of puff pastry. (Thank-you Bon Appetit and Chocolate and Zucchini for that time-saving idea). Baked again in a 425 degree F oven for 30-35 minutes.

And it comes out acceptable. Because I used the juicier rouind tomatoes, I did have some juice to drain. And then - I turned him over. After cooling for a few minutes, I put a dinner plate on top and quickly inverted the tomato tart-tatin.

And threw some slivered basil on top. And fell in love. And then I kissed him.

And then, we sat down to a tomato feast.
I roast tomatoes all summer and throw them on everything. Toss with pasta, cool and combine in salads or just pop them in my mouth like candy.

And then ... I came across Proud Italian Cook's Cod with Roasted Tomatoes. I am very susceptible. And fickle. I fell in love again. Once I saw her photo, I had to make the dish.
And did.

And the thing is - I'm not a cod eater.

I am now. Visit Marie at Proud Italian Cook and be prepared to be seduced. The recipe is here. (Do seek out wild-caught, American-Alaskan cod which is fished responsibly).
Meanwhile, back at the other summer vegetables ... I generally chop up whatever is ready in my garden, slice them and toss them with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper and a little garlic.
And then cover them with shaved Fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano (I know - way to make vegetables unhealthy, Claudia). And I did so - but not before seeing Ciao Chow Linda's delectable Summer Vegetable Gratin. She put her soon-to-be-roasted vegetables on a bed of caramelized onion and fennel. Oh my. I had to do it. And did. After blissfully eating the entire plate of vegetables (yes, the cheese helps), the family fought for the remnants of the caramelized fennel. I think I can just caramelize fennel and onion and serve it for dinner. Visit her recipe and be prepared to be seduced by fennel.
Breakfast this morning consisted of tomato-zucchini frittatas. Saute 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes, 1 cup of small sliced zucchini in a small mixture of olive oil and butter. Mix 6-8 eggs with 1/4 cup milk and a dash of salt and pepper (add some basil or thyme if you like). Stir in the vegetables and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. Makes about 10-12 frittata-muffins.

I can't think of a better way to start a day.
Meanwhile, my garden is on steroids.

The Cherry Tomato Plant is seeking world domination.

But the Zucchini wants a piece of the action. It has spilled onto the grass and is headed towards my home. I hear it quietly crawling through the lawn.
The flowers are more complacent. The Black-Eyed Susans sun themselves under the feathergrass.

The impatiens are as high as an elephant's thigh.

And the fluttering butterfly enjoys all.
Mornings in the garden means anything is possible.

And I close with three brief notes. Journey of an Italian Cook now has a page in Facebook. If it pleases you, become a fan. It's all in fun.
I am off to Madeleine Island and Door County for a respite of hiking, biking, berries, lighthouses and fish boils. We are all looking forward to sunrises and sunsets over the big lakes. I will catch up with all of you in a week. And ...
In the early spring and early summer, I suffered two losses. It coincided with two awards that I never acknowledged. I want to thank Cooking with Rosie and Claudia's Foodessa for thinking of me even when I was being a slug. Cooking with Rosie has an Italian flair to it and I enjoy her breezy, sweet style. Foodessa's blog is a feast for the eyes. Visit and savor.
Megan at Foodulation passed this on to me. Foodulation is Megan's ode to healthy and delicious eating. Passionate and sweet, her blog is from theartland with a lot of heart. Thank-you, Megan!
I am supposed to state 7 things about myself, but if it is all right with you - I shall skip that phase. I already put too much of myself on these pages. But I would like to pass this on to some remarkable blogging friends - old and new.
Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti: it's not a food blog; it's a valentine to NYC, the country and the world. Travel with Pat and see all things new through her perceptive eyes.
Linda at Ciao Chow Linda: I cook from her blog. Constantly. Weekly. And so will you - it's Italian done right and Italian done beautifully.
Claudia at Foodessa for scrumptious flavors and sheer loveliness.
Marie at Proud Italian Cook - Marie always writes as if she just threw these incredible dishes together. She's an artist. Mostly Italian, fresh, local and inspired. You'll cook from her, too.
Velva at Tomatoes on the Vine - another beautiful blog filled with mouth-watering edibles.
Sam at My Carolina Kitchen - draws inspiration from France, the Caribbean, and North Carolina. You'll add her recipes to your list of favorites.
Claudia from What's Cookin' Italian Style (I know - I seem to bond with people named Claudia these days.) Also Italian, Claudia draws from her rich Italian heritage and figures out how to adapt recipes to suit the busy lifestyle of today. Accessible and flavorful and gracious.
If you are amenable, pass the cheer around - to 7 bloggers. State 7 things about yourself (or don't). And if not inclined, know that I appreciate visiting you. Happy August to all. Until next week, ciao.


Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

I am so glad I saw this before leaving on are such a sweetheart thinking of me! I really feel the same way, your words were perfect. Thank you so much for everything you contribute for support as a blogger and wonderful compassion as a friend. I will catch up with you in a few weeks. Thanks again have a wonderful August yourself!

Mari Nuñez said...

Wonderful recipe! It looks super delicious. I wish you a great vacation.

Thanks for the flower photos I have enjoyed them very much.

Torviewtoronto said...

looks delicious lovely flowers

Velva said...

I really appreciate the recognition. This made my day. Thank you!!!

Angie's Recipes said...

You have a really beautiful garden! All the dishes are so garden-fresh and totally delicious! Give me that cod then!

Nancy said...

Wow what a great feast you have! I love the recipe, and anything tomato- I'm a tomato addict :)

Heather S-G said...

Oh my gosh, I think I would HAVE to kiss him...he's gorgeous beyond compare. I've never heard of a savory tatin...but ohemgee, I totally want to get acquainted! Beautiful garden pix and congrats on your award, Claudia =)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thank you Claudia for thinking of me! I love thinking my blog is a valentine to NYC :_)

Your tomato tatin looks delightful! My tomatoes seem to be ripening all at once so this looks like a delicious way to prepare them.

In remember being equally amazed by Marie's roasted tomato cod and Linda's vegetable gratin versions look divine.

Your muffin frittata's are adorable!

Have a wonderful vacation!

Nancy said...

Gorgeous tatin! How I love roasted tomatoes...And those little muffin-sized frittatas are such a nice idea, I'll have to try those for breakfast soon.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Thanks so much for the kind words about my blog. I love the way you cooked all those dishes with such PASSION. It shows. You are a real dear and I want to check out some of those other blogs that I don't know about. Of course, I am on my way to "like" you on Facebook. Have a great time on your vacation.

Reeni said...

What a gorgeous tatin Claudia! I don't blame you one bit for kissing it. Still waiting for red tomatoes...all mine are green except the grape ones. The cod and vegetables are looking pretty darn delicious too. Have a lovely and relaxing week! xoxo

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

Hey Claudia, your garden is wonderful! Our zucchini plants wilted when the heat set in, yours look great.
Roasted tomatoes on the tart look great.

Bon appetit!

Monet said...

What a beautiful garden...and what a beautiful tart! I could eat that entire thing (I am just loving these summer tomatoes). Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend!

Kim said...

Claudia- I adore reading your blog posts and I love that you kiss your food. The tomato tatin is a thing of beauty and definitely kiss-worthy! Your garden looks like it is thriving with wonderful produce and flowers. Looks like you are not only a great cook, but a wonderful gardener! I hope you truly enjoy your vacation and have safe travels!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Claudia, You are just too sweet! What nice and thoughtful things you say, but then I love how you write... and I agree you cook with so much passion! I would kiss your tomato tatin any day, it looks luscious! Relax and have a wonderful trip!

Laura said...

That looks beautiful!

Koci said...

All these summery dishes look amazing! Great job!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Claudia, first of all, congratulations to you on yet another award and then thank you for passing it my way. Merci beaucoup.

Your tomato tart looks fantastic. I think possibly tomatoes are my very favorite thing in the world (besides my husband of course). Your garden is really lovely. We decided to only grow tomatoes and herbs this year.

Have a great weekend.

Cookin' Canuck said...

What a wonderful way to use summertime tomatoes - what a treat this would be!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Your tomato tart is really outstanding and the recipe will be put to good use in my kitchen. Your garden is full of glorious color and I'm so glad we got a chance to see it. I hope you are having a fabulous day. Blessings...Mary.

Jen_from_NJ said...

I just love all of these summer vegetable ideas! I am not sure where to begin - everything looks amazing especially that tatin. Enjoy your vacation!

Unknown said...

Congratulations on the award. You deserve it. The post was beautiful and the recipes you shared (even if just by photo) phenomenal. I'm heading over to some of those other pages to copy a few down. Thanks for sharing your finds with us.

chow and chatter said...

oh wow what an amazing tart i want a slice!

Joanne said...

Holy yum. There is absolutely nothing better than roasted tomatoes! how delicious.

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

Congrats Claudia - very well deserved indeed. "Claudia" does seem to be a very good name for food bloggers. All the "Claudias" I know fron the food blogosphere are true gems :)

Congrats also to the other recipients of the award!

Now that tomato tart - be still my heart!!

Kate said...

Beautiful tarte!! Happy vacation :-)

Anonymous said...

That tatin looks so worth the wait! Delicious! And congrats on your award :)

OysterCulture said...

I saw that recipe in Bon Appetite and knew we'd be fast friends. So glad you got to make it and tell me I was write to ear mark it for consideration.

Your version just looks stupendous.

FOODESSA said...

Claudia...I can see that you've been the incredible busy bee and not only in that kitchen making a wonderful tart tatin. You seem to have touched on so many different aspects...including being generous with appreciating other bloggers that are as passionate as you are.
I always love to come for a visit because you exude a very warm and unique enthusiasm.
That garden of yours is so incredibly charming. The tomato plants this year seem to want to take over everywhere. Here our plants are strangely oversized with very little bearing of fruit. We're slightly disappointed with the outcome so far. Oh, well, summer hasn't called it quits yet ;o)
Have yourself a fabulous week.
Ciao for now, Claudia

Pam said...

Your tatin looks incredibly delicious and I can see why you wanted to kiss him. Those veggies and flowers on steroids look great;, nice garden! I just checked and could not believe I am not a follower of yours as I love your blog! I am now though! Great pos!

Juliana said...

Claudia...the tomato tatin looks your "garden on steroid" funny and true ;-)

Barbara GF said...

I'm ready to pucker up and kiss that tatin right now, Claudia. Tomato heaven! I love your garden pics; it's such a joy to cook from the garden in summer. Enjoy your vacation!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of a savory tomato tatin, so perfectly summery! I would love to make it this week!

Sweatha Sanjana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

Understand why you wanted to kiss it...lovely dreamy tomato feast :)
Congrats for the award!



La Bella Cooks said...

Your photos alone are just too gorgeous for words! The tomato tatin is at the top of my list and the perfect way to use up the tomatoes in my garden. Lovely!

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

your garden looks incredible. Ours didn't do much this year with this crazy heat spell we've had. the tomato tatin has me drooling. I know it tasted so better coming from your garden.

casalba said...

I LOVE this tomato tatin. Have to try this. Hope mine comes out as well as yours! Great job.

Velva said...

Your garden is fully alive! It's beautiful. Isn't the Summer tomato one of the most awesome summer fruits? Your tomato tartin screams warm weather-not too mention the other summer vegetables dishes you highlighted.

My Little Space said...

Congratulations on the award, Claudia! And thank you for sharing such wonderful meal. Your garden looks fabulous. I haven't been gardening for a very long time. I am now staying at double storey shop house. No space for gardening at all. So happy to see the green around the house. have a nice day!
Cheer, kristy

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

Wow, Claudia, so many great recipe ideas in this post, plus lovely photos of your travels. I just had dinner and now I'm hungry again after reading this post! I hope you might stop by and link up your posts in my "Fresh Friday" blog hop; your recipes and thoughts fit right in! Congrats on your award too! Roz over at La Bella Vita