It's tomato time!

The tomato is one of our favorite vegetables. Something as simple as a sprinkle of sea salt does it for me. The varieties available are endless now and the farmer’s markets are full of these red gems.  Every time we make a trip to the farmers’ market Joy fills so many baskets: what the heck is she going to do with all of them?

She  mentioned canning them. Ugh....not me. If she wants to do that, she can do it alone.

However, I will think of making several batches of sauce and freeze in dinner-size portions for those nights when I come home late. I also just love tomatoes in any salad combination, or in a simple spicy bruchetta and my mom’s favorite butter-and-tomato sandwiches on fresh white bread.  Did you know the pulp of the tomato is called the “caviar”? Don’t throw it away!! Use in your salad dressings or as a garnish for a cold gazpacho soup or a drizzle over your favorite grilled meats.

We have chosen this tomato cobbler to use up all these sweet juicy gems. This recipe is so amazing, it is deadly! It happens to be a family favorite and is requested by the kids very often. As a matter of fact, this recipe was also a favorite of Deana Martin — Yes, Dean Martin’s daughter! We did a show on Better CT (WFSB-TV) and Deana Martin and her husband were there and we all devoured this cobbler together! (Find it on YouTube.

Joy has been perfecting this tomato cobbler and it truly is scrumptious.  The biscuit topping is crunchy and flavored with fresh herbs from our gardens. We love it with a tender grilled beef or a marinated grilled pork roast and definitely with the Thanksgiving turkey! Enjoy!              

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Amazing Tomato Cobbler

For the tomato filling:

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, stemmed and minced

3 lbs. cherry tomatoes

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. crushed red-pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions and cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set the mixture aside to cool for 10 minutes. Taste and re-season  While the onions cool, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, add the flour, red pepper flakes and garlic powder salt and pepper. Stir to combine and toss with the tomatoes. Butter a 9-x-13 baking dish or a round ceramic dish, about 10 inches (you cant ruin this, just pile the filling high). Fill with tomato mixture and begin topping.

Biscuit topping

2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

a small bunch of thyme, chopped (or any of your favorite herbs)

6 Tbsp. chilled  butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk (we have also used lower-fat milks)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into bowl. Stir in herbs. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add eggs and milk and stir until soft moist dough forms. Turn dough out onto generously floured surface. Knead gently just to combine. Drop dough by the tablespoon around top of filling, leaving some spaces and the tomatoes showing (some filling will show around edges). Place dish on large baking sheet. Bake until topping is golden and tomatoes have burst and are bubbly, about 30-40 minutes. If topping is getting too brown, cover with a sheet of foil.