Hello fellow tomato lovers. This is the time of year that I start prowling for tomatoes at the farmers markets around LA. Right now, especially, the great heirloom varieties are available. I like to fill my basket with so many different types of tomato, it’s actually kind of ridiculous. Tomatoes come into season around the end of July/beginning of August, so I wanted to share some of my favorite tomato recipes with you.
Stuart’s Hearty Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup
3 lbs. ripe tomatoes, sliced in half
8 tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 1⁄2 pts. chicken stock
1 1⁄2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1⁄2 tsp. dried crushed chili flakes
small handful basil leaves, torn
crusty bread, to serve
freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (Gas Mark 6 / 200° C).
2. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on a large baking tray. Drizzle 5 tablespoons of the olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour until the tomatoes are tender and have browned lightly.
3. Put the tomatoes and any accumulated juices into a food processor or blender and blitz for about 30 seconds until well blended
4. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and sauté for about 30 seconds, stirring until mixture is fragrant and the garlic is golden.
5. Pour the tomatoes onto the garlic in the pan and add the chicken stock and crushed chili flakes.
6. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 25 minutes until the soup thickens slightly.
7. Remove from heat, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve at once with crusty bread.
Stuart’s Tomato Bread Salad
Serving suggestion: Buy a rotisserie chicken at the store, cut into pieces and serve with salad.
4 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
6 slices day-old crusty country bread, cut into chunks
1 cucumber, cut into 2 inch pieces
1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh basil, torn into little pieces
1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsps. red wine vinegar
2 heads frisee lettuce, roughly torn
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix everything together and let marinate, covered, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
2. Serve at room temperature.