Off the Vine

Hello peak tomato season, we’ve been waiting for you! Summer means a whole different breed of tomato: deep red, succulent and flavorful – firm to the touch but bursting with juice when you take a bite. It’s almost a crime to eat them any way but fresh off the vine with a pinch of salt, but when you’ve had your fill of caprese and your market basket is still overflowing, you need these recipes that spotlight the tomato and showcase the fruit in its sweet, acidic, juicy glory.

Tomato and Watermelon Radish Salad
4 servings

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 radishes (preferably watermelon), thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced about ¼-inch thick
1 cup microgreens or arugula, for garnish

• In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallot, honey and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until well blended. Add the salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

• On a serving platter, layer the tomatoes and radishes. Drizzle the dressing over the top and garnish with the greens.

Tomato Tartine
4 to 6 servings

1 loaf country bread, sliced about ¾-inch thick
Olive oil, for brushing
2 garlic cloves
8 oz. goat cheese, softened
2 large tomatoes, sliced about ¼-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• Preheat a grill pan or grill to medium-high heat.

• Brush the bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

• Toast the bread on the grill until crisp and grill marks appear. Flip and repeat. Rub each slice with a garlic clove, then set aside.

• Spread 1 tablespoon goat cheese on each slice of grilled bread, top with the tomato slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Heirloom Tomato Tart
8 servings

2½ cups flour
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
2½ sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
¼ cup ice water, plus more as needed
2 cups grated Parmesan
2 cups ricotta
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1½ lb. heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

• Add the flour and 1 tsp. salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ¼ cup ice water and pulse 3 or 4 times. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing 2 to 3 times after each addition.

• Turn the dough out onto a work surface and shape into a 6-inch disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

• On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1∕8-inch thick. Press into a 10¼-inch round tart pan and trim the edges, leaving about a ½-inch overhang around the rim. Fold in the excess dough and press it into the sides so they are thicker. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes.

• Place the tart pan on a baking sheet, place a sheet of parchment paper on top and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 12 minutes, then remove the weights and parchment and continue baking until the crust is cooked through and light golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in the tart pan.

• In a bowl, combine the Parmesan, ricotta and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture into the cool tart shell. Layer the tomato slices and chopped basil atop the filling. Serve immediately.

Summer Shakshuka
4 servings

2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
4 large tomatoes, rough chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
4 large eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 baguette, warmed and sliced thick, for serving

• In a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat, saute the garlic in olive oil until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer until softened and crushed, about 20 minutes. Stir in the tarragon.

• Make 4 indentations in the tomato sauce and carefully crack 1 egg in each. Cook until the whites are starting to set, then cover and continue cooking until the whites are completely set but yolks are still soft, about 8 minutes.

• Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with additional olive oil and baguette slices.

Cornbread Panzanella
6 to 8 servings

6 cups 1-inch cubed cornbread
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 lb. heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, roughly chopped
2 shallots, minced
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
½ cup packed chiffonaded basil

• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the cornbread cubes evenly on top. Let dry a few hours or overnight.

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

• Drizzle the cornbread with ¼ cup olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until crisp and browned, stirring about halfway through, 10 to 15 minutes.

• In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, mozzarella, shallots, vinegar and the remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Let sit about 15 minutes to allow the juices to develop, then add the cornbread, stirring lightly to mix. Fold in the basil. Let rest at least 15 to 20 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper, and serve.

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes
8 servings

8 medium tomatoes
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 oz. goat cheese
½ cup mascarpone
1 tsp. fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
2 Tbsp. butter
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup breadcrumbs

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

• Using a sharp serrated knife, cut a small slice off the bottoms of the tomatoes so they stand upright. Cut a circle around the stems at the tops and remove, then use a spoon to hollow out the tomatoes, leaving some flesh around the sides.

• Place the tomatoes in a baking dish, drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until just soft, but still holding their shape, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes, then pour out excess liquid from the tomatoes.

• In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the goat cheese, mascarpone, thyme, salt and pepper. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Set aside.

• Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and saute about 1 minute. Add the breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

• Divide the goat cheese mixture among the tomatoes, top with the breadcrumb mixture and garnish with thyme. Serve immediately.

Roasted Tomato Compote
2 cups

This compote is wonderful served over grilled fish or chicken, or rough chopped right out of the oven and stirred into hot pasta with plenty of grated Parmesan.

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
10 basil leaves, torn
4 sprigs thyme, stemmed
2 bay leaves, crumbled
20 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 tsp. sugar

• Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

• Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle the oil with salt and pepper, and scatter with half the garlic, basil, thyme and bay leaves.

• Lay the tomatoes cut-side-down over the oil and seasonings. Drizzle the remaining olive oil atop the tomatoes, then sprinkle with the sugar, salt, pepper and the remaining garlic, basil, thyme and bay leaves.

• Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes. Flip the tomatoes and continue baking until soft, but still able to hold their shape, about 30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes.

• Let cool, then transfer to a jar with any oil remaining on the pan. If you plan to keep them longer than 2 days, add additional olive oil to cover the tomatoes and refrigerate.

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