tomatoes forever & always
plus: corn butter farro
Monday, August 22, 2022
Salvage grocery stores (NYTimes, an unlocked article)
I wait all year for tomato season. I have heard that not everybody is like this. Maybe you find tomatoes too … tart or sweet or wet or seedy but while you this is unfathomable to me, the way that me not loving, say roasted beets or lox on bagels is to you. (I’ve upset so many people right now, I fear for my inbox after this.) Fortunately, Smitten Kitchen is a judgement-free zone and I am completely at peace with not everyone loving tomatoes as much as I do. But I think these recipes could convert anyone. I hope you find a few delicious ideas to audition this week, below, and should you not fall in love, you can send all of your leftovers to me.
A back-to-school side project: In the US, a tremendous amount of teachers don't get the funding they need to set their classrooms up for success. Most will end up paying out of their own pockets to buy educational materials, which feels all wrong and makes me sad. Many will make wishlists to ask for helping purchasing what they cannot. I asked teachers to send me their wishlists so I could share as many as possible to a wider audience that might be able to help clear them. I know how good it feels to be able to buy kids crayons and books. Help out if you feel you're able; I’ll keep this list up until the end of September -- you will unquestionably make a teacher's (and their students) day. [Smitten Kitchen Teacher Wishlists, or click the screenshot below]
New: This is the coziest summer dish I've ever made. It uses corn two ways: some left in kernels that stay lightly crunchy and sweet, and some blended with butter into a silky, lush sauce stirred in at the end, giving farro a risotto-like decadence (but not heaviness). I can't wait for you to try it.
✨ My third cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Keepers, will be exactly three months from today I cannot wait to share it with you because I’m very bad at keeping secrets and am absolutely restless for you to be able to make the coolest snow pea salad on earth and breakfast pancakes my kids have been demanding all weekend. I hope you will consider preordering it so it’s deposited at your doorstep the moment it’s out in the world and you can dive in right away. Details here! ✨
My favorite tomato sauce is made from tomatoes and almost nothing else. Not onions or carrots or celery. No tomato paste, no slow-roasted garlic, no tomato variety so rare, you need to grow it yourself. Just tomatoes, cooked until saucy, finished with a quickly-steeped basil and garlic oil.
A gorgeous peak-summer tomato tart that tastes the way I imagine a vacation in France would feel right now, from the novel The Margot Affair. It deserves to be eaten outside a big green salad, glass of wine, and the kind of friends who drop everything when they hear you're making dinner.
Don't let tomato season pass without making these, doubly so if you've only had terrible ones to date. The rice absorbs the most clear-noted pure tomato sauce you’ll ever scoop onto a fork; the ingredient list couldn't be less complicated. It's total summer dinner bliss.
This marriage of American-style tomato soup and French-style onion soup -- that's basically an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich on top happily exists between summer and fall foods, a cozy and delicious place.
Forever the most incredible thing to do with a glut of small tomatoes, slow-roasting them halved, drizzled with oil oil, salt, with garlic cloves and herbs nestled throughout concentrates and sweetens the flavor in a way that storebought sundried tomatoes could only dream of.
My favorite salsa, which hails from Homesick Texan, is also the simplest one I know, using just fresh tomatoes, garlic and jalapenos, broiled until charred and then blended.
I've created a page on Smitten Kitchen with links to some of my favorite kitchen items, the ones I'm asked about the most. For each item, I've attempted to provide a range of shopping links so we're not just focusing on one giant retailer. Let me know if there’s anything I’ve left off that you need.
See you next week!