Tag Archives: tomatoes

Tomato Gratin

I heard about this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (shocker) and then saw it pop up in a few other places. I haven’t had the best tomato summer, so I was looking for something to do with less than oh-my-god-this-is-heaven tomatoes. This definitely did the job. The tomato flavor comes through like a punch to the jaw, it’s easy, can be made days in advance and is a generally excellent veggie entree.

We had it 3 times so far….

1. Tomato gratin + green beans with toasted garlic + an insanely delicious salad of arugula, fresh cherries, marcona almonds, shaved parrano and balsamic vinaigrette

2. The next morning with a fried egg on top

3. Tomato gratin + asparagus with bacon and parm + a great salad of chopped romaine, shredded havarti dill, shredded carrots, tomatoes, chopped egg and a green chile Caesar dressing

The second time I made it, I went too light on the croutons and it was too loose and lacked some substance. Learn from my mistakes.

  • 3  Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced bread, in a 1/2 inch dice with crusts removed (a good french bread works well, but just nothing sour)
  • 1 1/2 lb tomatoes, 1/2 inch dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 Cup fresh slivered basil
  • 1 Cup grated Parm
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in large pan over medium high. Add croutons and toast thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Let sit at least 3 minutes to release some juices
  3. When croutons are toasted, add tomato mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Place in casserole dish (it won’t rise, so it can be pretty full) and top with cheese.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly. 

Steak salad

The inspiration: The other night, my hubby was grilling some chicken to serve with his Super Fabulous Jerk Sauce (he’ll post that another day). Anyway, he was already grilling, so I had him throw a flank steak on for the next night’s dinner. I trimmed the fat, pricked it all over both sides, rubbed it with Kosher salt and pepper, and had him throw it over a pretty hot flame until good and charred on both sides. Knowing it had a full 24 hours to rest and that it would cook a good bit more, he just got a nice crust on each side (no need to cook through).

Steak salad

What you’ll need: Flank steak, green beans, little red/bliss or yellow/butter potatoes (the smallest ones you can find), feta, green onion, cherry tomatoes and any greens (I like 50% baby romaine and 50% arugula, but whatever)

How you do it: This looks way longer and harder than it is

  1. Get water boiling in a large pot. Add a hefty pinch of salt. Drop in potatoes and cook until tender, but not 100% done. Remove with slotted spoon and rinse under cold water or add to ice bath. Set aside
  2. While water comes to a boil, cut cherry tomatoes in half or quarters and toss with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Set aside while potatoes boil. The salt draws out moisture and the sugar adds some nice sweetness. The sugar, by the way, is not necessary if it’s the summer and you have nice, ripe tomatoes.
  3. After you remove the potatoes, drop some green beans into the boiling, salted water. Just add them, let the water come back to a boil, then remove with slotted spoon
  4. While the green beans are blanching, run your tomatoes through a salad spinner for about 30-45 seconds. This will remove excess moisture and leave you with super tomato-y tomatoes. Set aside
  5. After you remove the green beans, you can go ahead and wash your lettuce. Give it a good spin in the (now) clean salad spinner. Dump into a bowl big enough for mixing.
  6. I like to make the potatoes a bit yummier at this point. Put ~1/2 T butter or EVOO in a skillet and get it hot. Add potatoes and a bit of Salt & Pepper (S&P). Sautee on med-high heat until you get a good crust on the potatoes (no more than 3 min). Add thinly sliced green onion, remove from heat, stir and set aside to cool in pan.
  7. So, the steak was cooked earlier, so it just needs to be sliced SUPER thin against the grain. You may find it easier to cut in half length-wise first. Set aside.
  8. You can use/make just about any dressing you like. I’ll deal with dressing another day, but I basically mix up a few ingredients in a mason jar. This time, I used Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, light brown sugar, S&P and olive oil.
  9. Toss greens, crumbled feta and half of dressing. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and/or lemon juice. Mound on however many plates.
  10. In same bowl as greens (now empty), toss green beans with ~2T dressing, S&P and arrange in bundles around plate. Repeat same process with tomatoes and beef, placing tomatoes around greens (like green beans), but mounding steak on top. Place potatoes around greens as well.
  11. Eat