I’m a tomato fan. During times when money is tight, I’ve declared fresh tomatoes and cucumbers grocery items worth sacrificing to have on hand. And home-grown, at the peak of season tomatoes are exponentially more worth having. A friend spotted me some from her garden, and when I couldn’t stand it any longer, I busted out my favorite recipe from last year, the tomato cobbler.

Can I get a moment of silence for the wonder that is the tomato cobbler?

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I’d have told you that there’s nothing better than the pop of a fresh tomato, but that was before I’d had tomato cobbler. Slow roasting tomatoes does something especially wonderful to them— deepens and concentrates their flavor, makes them velvety and rich and jammy. I wouldn’t have told you that “jammy” was something I was looking for in a tomato. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This recipe takes some time— they say an hour and 10 minutes— I think they measure time differently than I do. It probably took me about two hours, all told, including resting time. I mostly follow this recipe step for step. I love it too much the way it is to tinker much with it, quite yet, and I haven’t yet had access to enough tomatoes to make it more than once per season.

Words to the wise: It says to make it in a good-sized casserole, but when you put it in the dish, it will look skimpy. Never fear— it grows as it cooks (I don’t know and don’t need to know why, but not counting the biscuit topping, the filling rose a good 1.5 inches while it cooked.) So don’t put it in a smaller casserole. And really consider putting it on a cookie sheet. I didn’t do that right away last night and very nearly lived to regret it.

This is such a highlight, to me, I wanted to serve it with a relatively simple protein. But I’m not great at simple in the kitchen, so I tried this new to me recipe for kofta, while the cobbler cooked. Also delicious. With this one, I tinkered more. We didn’t have bread crumbs suitable, so I used couscous as a binder and a whole egg (yolk and all), and I put it on the George Foreman grill, so they came out more like patties than the mini-meatloaf she displays. Worked great. Spice blend was perfect. I had a half-zested lime, so I used the rest of the lime zest instead of lemon, and then used fresh and bottled lime juice with my yogurt, a minced cucumber, and half a home grown hot pepper to make something more tzaziki-like than the sauce she recommended. The meat was tasty, the meal was well-composed, the tomato cobbler was its wonderful self.

Dinner win!

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An Ode to the Tomato Cobbler

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