I usually need grilled cheese as a bribe for my family to enjoy tomato soup for dinner. My daughter loved this soup even more than the grilled cheese! 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Food 52.com, contributed by Carolina Gelen. I modified the method and proportions. It was a quick dinner packed with flavor. Perfect with our grilled cheese sandwiches and giant green salad.
We swirled pesto into the soup just before serving. Additional cream or crème fraîche could also be added.
Yield: Serves 4 to 5
extra-virgin olive oil
1300 gramsgrape or cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups)
2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
2 to 4 sprigs of basil
2 large sprigs of thyme
1 or 2 red chiles, optional (I omitted it)
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream (I used one 13.5 oz can of coconut milk), plus more for serving, as desired
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock, plus more as needed
homemade or store-bought pesto, for serving, optional
grilled cheese sandwiches or fresh bread, for serving, optional
Heat the oven to 450°F (230°C). (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Drizzle some oil into a deep baking dish. (I used a large enameled cast iron baking dish.)
Add in the tomatoes, onion, basil and thyme, and chile (if using). Drizzle more olive oil on top, plus a big sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix to coat. Add the garlic cloves, cut side down, nestled into the other ingredients.
Roast for 25 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly charred. (I roasted mine for 38 minutes.)
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme. Remove garlic cloves from the papery skin.
Add the rest of the ingredients to a blender, along with the coconut milk and stock. (I used a Vitamix on the hot soup setting.) Remove the little plug from the blender lid, then cover the lid with a kitchen towel and blend until smooth.
Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Adjust consistency with additional stock, as needed.
Serve drizzled with pesto and/or cream with a grilled cheese sandwich and green salad, as desired.
We shopped at the farmers market to get beautiful corn and scallions for this summer side dish. I could happily eat corn and basil every day all summer long. 😉
This salad was very fresh and light. It was a perfect accompaniment to our dinner of grilled burgers (and Impossible burgers), pickles, tomato slices drizzled with basil vinaigrette, and potato chips, of course. We even had brownie ice cream sandwiches for dessert. A summer feast.
This recipe is from Bon Appetit, contributed by Zaynab Issa. I incorporated my CSA tomatoes and backyard basil. We ate it immediately but the components can also be made in advance. Perfect.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
cooking oil spray, for grill grates
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 ears of corn, husked
1 bunch scallions (I used 4 huge scallions)
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice (I used 1/2 of a large lime)
2 T sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp Morton kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 oz mixed heirloom tomatoes, chopped, and/or cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup sweet basil, chiffonade, plus more for garnish
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; oil grate (before heating).
Grill husked corn and scallions, turning occasionally, until very tender and charred and blackened in spots, 10–12 minutes for corn, 5–7 minutes for scallions. (Alternatively, you can cut kernels from cobs in slabs and slice scallions into ¼”–½” pieces; cook together in a dry large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, turning and stirring occasionally, until charred in spots, about 4 minutes.)
Transfer to a cutting board and let cool.
Meanwhile, whisk lime juice, sherry vinegar, salt, and olive oil in a large bowl to combine; season vinaigrette generously with freshly ground black pepper.
Cut corn kernels from cobs in slabs and slice scallions into 1/2-inch pieces.
Add corn kernels, scallions, tomatoes, and basil to vinaigrette and gently toss to combine.
Top corn and scallion salad with more basil just before serving.
Do ahead: Corn and scallions can be grilled and vinaigrette can be made 3 days ahead; wrap corn and scallions separately and chill. Cover and chill vinaigrette. Salad (without basil topping) can be assembled 3 hours ahead; cover and chill.
I love a dish involving warm dressing and wilted greens. I am also in love with farro- and pesto. This full-flavored vegetarian dish was made for me! Loved it. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Yasmin Fahr. I used homemade pesto, Campari tomatoes, and several of the modifications and options that were suggested in the original recipe for ingredient substitutions.
It was incredible as a summer dish but could easily be served in any season with all of the possible variations. It can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature. The dish could also be topped with a protein such as grilled chicken, scallops, or shrimp, if desired. We ate it for dinner with roasted CSA vegetables and a green salad. It would also be lovely for a special lunch or brunch. Fabulous.
Yield: Serves 4
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup farro, rinsed (I used Trader Joe’s “10 minute” Farro)
2 pints (4 cups) cherry or grape tomatoes or 2 pounds of Campari tomatoes (12-14 tomatoes)
1 red onion, peeled, quartered and cut into 1-inch wedges keeping the root intact (I cut a large red onion into 8ths)(can substitute shallots)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the farro
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/4 cup (4 T) store-bought or homemade pesto, plus more to taste (recipe below)
2 packed cups baby spinach, arugula, Swiss chard (stemmed & chopped), or baby kale
1 (4 oz) ball fresh mozzarella or burrata, torn into chunks, or 1/2 cup ricotta salata or feta, crumbled, optional (I used 4 oz crumbled feta)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil leaves and tender stems, chiffonade or roughly chopped, for garnish
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the farro and adjust the heat to maintain a medium boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom, until tender and not too chewy, about 10 to 30 minutes. (I used Trader Joe’s “10-minute” Farro which cooked in 10 minutes)
Meanwhile, on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed sheet pan, combine the tomatoes and onion wedges with the oil, making sure everything is well coated and glistening, then season with salt, pepper and the red-pepper flakes. Roast until the tomatoes blister and slightly deflate, 20 to 30 minutes.
When the farro is done, drain, then pour into a serving bowl or back into the pot. Toss with some olive oil, then mix in the pesto.
Add the lemon zest and juice, then stir in the spinach (or other greens). Set aside to cool slightly.
Scrape the onions, tomatoes and their juices into the farro; season with salt and pepper as needed.
Add the cheese, if using, then garnish with herbs and serve.
For the Pesto: (Makes about 1 cup)
2 loosely packed cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
1 large clove garlic
2 T toasted pine nuts or walnuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
Combine the basil with a pinch of salt, the garlic, the nuts, and about half of the oil in a food processor or blender.
Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary and adding the rest of the oil gradually.
Add more oil if you prefer a thinner mixture. (Sometimes I add a little bit of stock instead to achieve the same result.)
Stir in the cheese.
The pesto recipe is from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. The amounts can be modified to reduce the volume; only 1/4 cup of pesto is used in the farro dish.
This is a variation of one of my favorite quick dishes that also uses store-bought gnocchi as a shortcut. It is less spicy which pleased my husband. 😉 The cheesiness of this version definitely made it a crowd-pleaser.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. It was the perfect dinner to make and serve after making cupcakes all afternoon with my daughter. Fast and fabulous.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 (12- to 18-ounce) packages shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi (I used Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup (4 T) unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
8 to 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups (2 pints) small tomatoes, such as cherry, grape or Sungold
4 to 6 T thinly sliced (chiffonade) or torn basil leaves, plus more for serving
8 to 9 ounces (8 slices) fresh mozzarella, cut or torn into 1/2-inch pieces
Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
In a large (12-inch) skillet on the stovetop, heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan (about 1 tablespoon) over medium-high. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add half the gnocchi to the pan, breaking up any that are stuck together. Cover with a lid or baking sheet and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Repeat with the remaining gnocchi and olive oil.
Add the butter to the skillet and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until golden-brown and toasty, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the garlic, red-pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper, reducing the heat slightly if necessary to avoid scorching.
Add the tomatoes and 3 tablespoons water and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened and the liquid has slightly thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Smash the tomatoes as they burst to help them along.
Add the seared gnocchi and basil, stir to coat, then shake into an even layer.
Top with the mozzarella and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Broil until the cheese is melted and browned in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. (I set my oven to 500 degrees Broil+Max.)
Top with more basil, red-pepper flakes, and black pepper as desired.
Inspired by pizza she loved on a tropical vacation many years ago, my daughter has been eating corn on her pizza for nearly 10 years. Apparently she is ahead of her time! We were so happy to see that Bon Appétit realized that this delicious pizza topping was worthy of their publication. 🙂
I loved that this pizza recipe used creamed corn instead of tomato sauce- it brought our usual “corn pizza” to the next level. It was also a sheet pan “Grandma” pie which is a family favorite. Lastly, it can be made with fresh or frozen corn. Perfect.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kay Chun. I used a homemade sourdough pizza crust instead of store-bought. I also used fresh mozzarella, frozen white corn, Campari tomatoes, and more garlic. I modified the method and baked the sheet pan on a pizza stone positioned on the lowest oven rack. Great.
Yield: One Grandma Pie (half-sheet pan)
For the Pizza Dough:
1 cup (241g) sourdough starter, unfed/discard
1/2 cup (113g) warm water (plus 2 tsp water- if using whole wheat flour)
1 1/4 cups (150g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (141g) white whole wheat flour (can substitute and additional 1 1/4 cups/150g all-purpose flour)
1 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh corn (from about 2 medium ears) or thawed frozen corn, divided
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 oz sliced pepperoni (more or less, as desired)
8 to 9 oz Campari tomatoes (sliced 1/4-inch thick) or cherry tomatoes (halved, about 1 1/3 cups)
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
fresh basil (or oregano) leaves, sliced, for serving
To Make the Dough:
Stir any liquid on top of your refrigerated starter back into it before measuring 1 cup (241g) into a large mixing bowl. Note: This is a good opportunity to feed the remainder of your starter, if necessary.
Add the warm water, flours, salt, and yeast. Mix to combine, then knead for about 7 minutes in a mixer with the dough hook, until the dough wraps itself around the hook and cleans the side of the bowl.
Place the dough in a greased container, cover and let rise until almost doubled in bulk. Depending on the vitality of your starter, this will take between 2 and 4 hours. For a faster rise, place the dough in a warm spot, or double the yeast. (I placed my dough in a warming drawer and it doubled in about 2 hours.)
Towards the end of the rise time, preheat your oven to 500°F. (I heat a baking stone positioned on the lowest rack of the oven.)
Oil an 18″ x 13″ half-sheet pan or coat with cooking oil spray.
Place the dough in the pan and press it out to the edges, again giving it a 15-minute rest before continuing if it starts to snap back. After this rest, gently press the dough toward the edges of the pans. (If it starts to shrink back, cover and let rest for 15 minutes before continuing.)
Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it’s as thick as you like. (It will rise quite a bit in 30 minutes. I just let it rest while preparing the sauce and toppings.)
While the dough is rising, make the sauce.
To Make the Sauce, Toppings, & Bake the Pizza:
If using Campari tomatoes, slice and season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let sit to remove excess moisture.
Process the Parmesan, ricotta, cream, garlic, salt, pepper, 3/4 cup corn, and 2 T oil in a food processor until mostly smooth (mixture will still have some texture). (I used a mini-food processor.)
Scrape creamed corn into a small bowl; stir in 1/4 cup corn.
Spread creamed corn over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
Top with pepperoni, then tomatoes and remaining 1/2 cup corn.
Tear the fresh mozzarella and distribute the pieces evenly over the crust.
Bake until crust is golden underneath and cooked through and the cheese is lightly browned, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Top with a drizzle of oil and sliced basil (or oregano) leaves.
Note: The creamed corn mixture can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
I first heard about this spectacularly easy viral pasta dish from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. I think I was the last to know… My daughter has seen countless people make it on TikTok, of course. 😉 She was absolutely thrilled to make it with me!
The original recipe is called “Uunifetapasta,” created by the Finnish blogger Jenni Häyrinen. The foundation of the dish is a block of feta placed in the center of a baking dish surrounded by seasoned tomatoes. After being baked, the cheese and burst tomatoes are combined to create a creamy and delicious sauce to serve over pasta. Deb Perelman incorporated chickpeas in her version- nice.
This version from the Washington Post, contributed by Aaron Hutcherson, recommended using Greek sheep’s milk feta to maximize the creaminess. I used an enameled cast iron baking pan, modified the proportions and incorporated za’atar to the seasoning on the tomatoes prior to baking. It was super creamy and tasty- and as simple and easy to prepare as expected.
Yield: Serves 6
3 pints (750 to 800 g) grape or cherry tomatoes
5 large garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
8 T (1/2 cup) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 block (10.5 oz) Greek feta cheese
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
za’atar, to taste, optional
17 to 18 oz medium-length dried pasta, such as campanile, rigatoni, or rotini (I used Gigli)
fresh basil leaves, for serving
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the tomatoes, garlic and 6 tablespoons of the olive oil. (I used an enameled cast iron baking pan.)
Sprinkle the tomatoes with some salt and toss to coat. Sprinkle with za’atar, if using.
Place the feta cheese in the center of the tomatoes and garlic, top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle the entire dish with red pepper flakes and a little black pepper.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until the garlic has softened and the tomatoes have burst their skins.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and stir the feta and tomatoes with a wooden spoon until evenly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning, as necessary.
Mix the sauce with pasta, adding the reserved pasta water as needed if it looks a little dry. (I incorporated quite a bit of pasta water.)
This summery version of shrimp scampi is an amazing upgrade of this classic dish. Best of all, it is prepared in one pan. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle; I modified the proportions. I served it over pasta, but it could also be served with crusty bread. Delicious.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 21 to 25 shrimp per pound)
Kosher salt and black pepper
2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1pint cherry or grape tomatoes
2 (or more)cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 4 to 5 ears)
7 large garlic cloves, minced (I used my special CSA hard neck garlic)
1/2teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/4cup dry white wine
2tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), plus wedges for serving (optional)
5tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
3tablespoons chopped parsley or chives, or torn basil leaves
12 to 16 oz linguini fini, spaghetti or bucatini, for serving, if desired
crusty bread, for serving, if desired
If serving over pasta, prepare per the package directions while the rest of the dish is being prepared.
Pat the shrimp very dry and season with salt and pepper.
In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and lightly golden in spots, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a plate.
Add the tomatoes to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until they start to blister in spots, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the corn, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until the tomatoes burst and the corn is golden in spots, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until you smell garlic, about 1 minute.
Reduce heat to medium, and add the wine and lemon juice, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until nearly evaporated, then add the butter and stir until melted.
Add the shrimp and its juices and stir until warmed through. (If the sauce breaks and looks greasy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of water and stir until emulsified.)
Remove from heat, add the herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with extra lemon for squeezing over, if you like.
Serve over pasta or with crusty bread, if desired.