A couple weeks ago, I went food shopping after a long, long day on call. Maybe it was the bone-crushing fatigue, but I had a maudlin moment with an enormous whole seabass sinuously displayed on ice. And now I'm strictly vegetarian again. Enter the fishless existence.
Luckily, the farmer's market is teeming with late-summer delights. Enter the tomato:
(That last photo is particularly terrible. New camera soon, I promise.) These went into a Mark Bittman recipe, with some adaptations of course. Cherry tomato cobbler is one of my new favorites.
There was an awful lot of liquid left in the bottom of the ramekins, possibly because I accidentally baked it at too high a temperature (meaning that the biscuit finished cooking before the tomatoes could properly caramelize). I've reserved it for a tomato basil vinaigrette.
Cherry tomato cobbler
Based on a recipe by Mark Bittman. Serves 8. Feel free to halve it.
2 pints cherry tomatoes, preferably a mix of interesting cultivars like those at the farmer's market
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
at least 1/4 cup basil (I used bush basil; more on this tomorrow!)
salt, freshly ground pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons butter, very cold
1 egg, cold
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
3/4 c flour
3/4 c cornmeal
1/3 c Parmesan
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
Thinly slice garlic cloves and onion and chop the basil. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Toss in a bowl with salt, pepper, sugar, and a little olive oil. Set aside.
Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, powder, soda). In a food processor or with a pastry blender, mix with the Parmesan and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg and buttermilk and mix just until blended.
Fill a greased dish or several greased ramekins with tomato mixture. Lay slightly flattened scoops of biscuit dough on top. Bake in a 425-degree oven for 25 minutes, or until biscuit is browned and tomatoes are soft. Serve warm, sprinkled with more cheese and basil if you like.