Living in Northern California we are blessed with summer’s bounty as it continues into October. We have been enjoying late summer peaches, plums of all sorts, sweet and spicy peppers and tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. One of my favorite side dishes to make during the summer is this one for a Savory Tomato Crisp.
The past couple weeks I have been knee-deep in crisps, from sweet to savory. It has become my go-to dessert when company comes over as well I have been playing with savory versions. After all, why can’t a crisp be, well, savory? I like a crisp that showcases the true flavor of the “star” of the dish. I do not like them over sweet nor do I like them to have added extras such as triple bacon onion jam. Just simple fresh fruit with a nice crisp topping.
Tomatoes have been absolutely gorgeous this year, and the flavors have been explosive. What little time has found us around of dining table, there has usually been some sort of tomato dish on it. Heirlooms are always a favorite with just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Romas are great chopped up with a garlic, olive oil and tossed with pasta.
Then there is the strawberry tomato, which I have recently discovered, it is a bit smaller than a Roma and bigger than a cherry. The flavor is outstanding. I love them simply roasted as a snack or an easy appetizer. The past couple of weeks I have been playing with them for a new recipe, the savory crisp. When I first started working on this recipe, I used only cherry tomatoes, which really made the dish gorgeous with all the different colors. Unfortunately, cherry tomatoes can be a bit acidic as well they tend to really loosen up when roasted or baked, which makes for a “runny” crisp. For this recipe, I roasted an abundance of strawberry tomatoes and only added a handful of cherry for a little moisture as well as color. I tried added extras like caramelized onions and shallots, as well as basil and balsamic. It just didn’t work. The tomatoes are so rich with flavor, that the only thing needed being a little fresh oregano and salt. Since we are all about texture-rich food, I added toasted pine-nuts and salty Parmesan cheese, which both complement rich tomato-based dishes.
This crisp is really lovely served on its own as a vegetarian dish, as well it makes a great side dish as it compliments roasted meats and fish. We tried it out on some friends over the weekend and served it with grilled sausages; the crisp was gone before the meaty sausages!
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Savory Tomato Crisp
* serves 6 – 8
2 pounds strawberry tomatoes, washed, dried and cut in half
1-pint cherry tomatoes
a drizzle of olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
1 cup ap flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese
6 oz unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 325.
Scatter the tomato halves over a baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil.
Sprinkle with a little Maldon salt.
Slide into the oven and roast for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cherry tomatoes, stir and roast for another 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and scoop the roasted tomatoes into a baking dish.
Sprinkle the oregano over the top.
Topping and Baking:
Raise the heat of the oven to 375.
In a mixing bowl add the dry ingredients for the topping.
Lightly whisk the egg, just until beaten, add to the dry ingredients.
Using a fork, stir the mixture, until crumbly.
Add half of the melted butter. Continue to stir with the fork until very crumbly.
Add the pine-nuts and cheese, stir.
Scatter over the top of the roasted tomatoes.
Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the top.
Place on a baking sheet and slide into the oven.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.