Wickwood's Kitchen ---
ROASTED PLUM TOMATOES
Caramelized roast tomatoes have a myriad of uses. Here, we describe
our basic technique and once you’ve tried it and tasted
the tomatoes, you’ll adapt the quantity to fill your needs each and
every time you roast them. Then, in all likelihood you'll have plum
tomatoes ripening on the windowsill year round as we do, ready for
Plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dried thyme, Dried rosemary or Italian herbs
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line shallow baking sheet with foil. Spread tomatoes evenly on
baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt
and pepper evenly over tomatoes. Crush herbs between the palms of
your hands and sprinkle tomatoes lightly.
Roast for 1-1 ½ hours
depending on size of tomato and desired juiciness, checking every
10 minutes during the last half hour. If too much juice remains in
tomato- use the back of a spoon to press down on the surface of
the tomato slightly releasing the juice and then allow to air dry until
2. For a tomato with a texture similar to a sun-dried tomato,
quarter the tomatoes, oil and season as in Step One. Roast the
1¼ hour and; let them rest in an oven
heated by a pilot light; or on top of an oven that is periodically
heated or as we do atop our Garland’s broiler/griddle until
they’ve air dried further with gentle heat, anywhere from 4 hours
to 2 days depending on your preference. If not using immediately,
place in a bag with a little olive oil and refrigerate.
BASIL HAZELNUT PESTO
As Farmer’s Markets reap their harvest, huge bouquets of cut basil
will appear. Take advantage of the season to make a stash of Basil
Hazelnut Pesto to last all winter long. We make huge batches of this, always using the mortar and pestle and it stays bright
green and fresh tasting all year long. We don’t add Parmigiano to
the pesto now, instead we add it when we're preparing a dish. This
yields ¾ cup, just multiply. A mortar and pestle makes all the
difference to the taste of this pesto.
½ teaspoon sea salt
6 large cloves of garlic coarsely chopped
½ cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (added by mistake one day – now
1 cup fresh basil, leaves only, torn 1/3 at a time
1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
"Trust your work. And never hope more
than you work."
1. Mix salt and garlic
in mortar crushing garlic with pestle. Add hazelnuts and crush.
2. Add 1/3 of basil along with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and
continue to gently pound the ingredients. Incorporate the next 1/3
cup of the basil.
3. With the final 1/3 of the basil, add the remaining ¼ cup olive
oil and mix thoroughly. Season with black pepper.
4. Place in plastic container and cover with a thin layer of olive
oil. You can store in refrigerator for up to 6 months, if after each
use you top with a film of olive oil.
When you have Basil Hazelnut Pesto and Roasted Tomato Pesto
on hand this tart couldn’t be easier –
or more delicious. Right from the oven served with a salad, it’s a
perfect dinner for two. Cut into strips – it's great for
hors d’ oeuvres.
One sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed (we prefer Pepperidge
Farm or Du Four)
¼ cup Roasted Tomato Pesto
6 tablespoons Basil Hazelnut Pesto
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
40 roasted tomato quarters (see method)
½ cup Parmagiano Reggiano , shards
"A gourmet who looks at calories is
like a tart who looks at her watch."
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Lightly butter a large baking sheet. Unfold pastry sheet and lightly flour
surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry until about ¼ inch
thick to a rectangle approximately 9 x 12”. Place the pastry on the
baking sheet and prick it all over with the tines of a fork. Turn up
the edges of the tart, approximately ¼ to ½ inches in an irregular
fashion to create a “rustique” edge. Bake for 8 minutes.
2. Dollop the Roasted Tomato Pesto evenly onto the tart, and spread
using the back of a mixing spoon. Next, spread the Basil Pesto
evenly over surface. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly and place the
tomatoes. Sprinkle the Parmagiano atop. Bake for an additional 7-9
minutes until the cheeses have melted and the crust is golden. Cut
with a pizza wheel into squares or strips.
Serves 2 as dinner or 6 as appetizers
SAVORY HEIRLOOM TOMATO BREAD
This is a great side dish for a roast leg of lamb, veal chops or a
tenderloin. It’s comfort food at its best.
30 plum tomatoes, quartered and roasted
½ cup white wine
½ cup golden raisins
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 loaf (1 pound) day-old bread, crust on, cut into ½ inch cubes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese or Parmegiano
1. Preheat the oven to
Grease an 8-by-12 inch baking dish, or one of similar size. In a
small saucepan, combine the tomatoes, wine, raisins, basil, brown
sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne. Simmer over medium-low
heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the butter and cheese,
then add the tomato mixture and toss again. Spread the mixture in
the prepared baking dish in an even layer and bake until nicely
browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
"Genius is immediate, but talent takes time."
MEDIEVAL APPLE TART
This classic is pure heaven!!
12 phyllo leaves, fresh or
1 pound (4 sticks) sweet butter, melted
1½ cups granulated sugar
cup Grand Marnier or Calvados, approximately
6 medium-size tart apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Gather all of your ingredients and equipment as once you begin,
you’ll want to work quickly.
1. Unwrap the phyllo leaves. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Using a pastry brush, lightly butter a 14-inch baking pan. Lay a
phyllo leaf on the pan. Brush the phyllo with some of the melted
butter, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 1 tablespoon
Grand Marnier. Repeat, using 5 more phyllo leaves criss crossing as
you build the layers.
3. Arrange the apples in the center of the top sheet of phyllo in a
circular mound about 9 inches in diameter. Brush them with butter
and sprinkle with sugar and Grand Marnier.
4. Stack 6 more leaves of phyllo on top of the apples, repeating the
buttering and sprinkling with sugar and Grand Marnier and criss
crossing. The top (twelfth) sheet of phyllo should only be buttered
5. Trim off the corners of the phyllo sheets so you have a large round,
about 12 inches in diameter. Turn the edges of the phyllo up and
pinch lightly to seal. Be tidy, but don’t work too hard on this; the
tart should look rustic.
6. Set the tart on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 to 40
minutes, or until golden. If pastry becomes too brown before this
time, cover it loosely with foil.
7. Serve the tart immediately, or reheat gently before serving. It’s
best warm with a dollop of crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream atop.
Heirlooms are old varieties of tomatoes that
have not been grown commercially for some time and are in danger of
disappearing from our tables. Over the last decade or so, many small
scale farmers began growing heirloom varieties again in an effort to
make them agriculturally relevant, and, therefore, keep them around.
This was especially beneficial to lovers of good tomatoes. Most
heirloom tomato varieties are temperamental. They must be picked ripe,
are very sensitive, to rain and humidity, don’t store well, and travel
even worse. For commercial growers and retailers, these traits meant
they were weeded out of the mainstream food supply.
The renaissance of heirloom tomatoes in all of their shapes and sizes
make the Farmer’s Market more exciting than ever!!
It’s hard to ever get enough of the taste of tomatoes during their
short season! Everyone has their favorite, tiny heirloom “Gold Rush
Currants” or hefty two-pound “The 1884’s”, survivors of The Great Ohio
Valley Flood. Some prefer pear shaped and golden, some sweet as candy,
others want a little more acidity, of those they remember from
childhood. Part of the fun is the quest --- so many to taste, so
Most folks we know try to grow at least a few plants of their own,
exchanging varieties among friends at harvest to trade tastes and some
"What would life be if we had no courage
to attempt anything."
ROASTED TOMATO PESTO
Intense tomato flavor that has the taste of summer in every spoonful.
Toss it with pasta, spread it on a grilled cheese panini, stir it into
risotto- you’ll find a zillion uses.
20 roasted whole tomatoes (or 40 halves)
2 garlic cloves
½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (slightly less if using
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1. Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor or until well
combined and smooth.
2. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Yield 1 cup
"Live within your harvest"
THE RIGHT TIME
Ripe Heirloom tomatoes taste flamboyantly of
themselves. That’s what we strive for in all of our food. We seek out
the right food- in the right place-at the right time. We cherish food
of the moment- something eaten at the time when it’s appropriate-at
its peak!! It’s being in sync with nature. It’s learning to eat local
farm fresh foods with the ebb and flow of the seasons and feasting on what
is indigenous to our community.
"Nothing else, not opera or Renaissance
art or Roman ruins or even pizza so exemplifies Italy as pasta"
Treasures of the Italian Table
LINGUINE WITH ROASTED TOMATOES AND
This taste of the summer can now be
enjoyed anytime of year!
4 cups roasted tomatoes, quartered
1 pound cheese, rind removed, torn or cut into irregular pieces, Brie, Exporateur, Saint Andre or Boursin
½ cup Basil Hazelnut Pesto, or to taste
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon best-quality olive oil
1½ teaspoon salt-to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper-to taste
1 pound linguine
Freshly grated imported Parmigiano (optional)
1. Combine tomatoes, cheese, pesto, olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and the
pepper in a large serving bowl. Prepare at least 2 hours before
serving and set aside, covered, at room temperature.
2. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon
olive oil and remaining salt. Add the linguine and boil until tender
but still firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato sauce. Serve at
once, passing the peppermill, and grated cheese if you like. Serves
A DAY IN GERS
This light and tender version of a regional French
“Croustade” is a tradition of Gers since Medieval times. It was taught
to us by a Frenchwoman, Madame Bouchard of Villeneuve-sur-Lot. And
whenever we bake it, we are reminded of a fall afternoon in Madame
Bouchard’s country kitchen. While she and her daughter stretched and
rolled her fresh strudel dough by hand (until a small ball covered a
fourteen foot table), her husband sat under the apple tree outside
peeling apples and watching their granddaughter playing amongst the fallen apples. The
three were the sole suppliers for my
friend's 40 specialty food shops all over France and this is how they
spent every working day. Later, while the tarts baked, we all shared a
slow Armagnac. Keeping the perspective in Gers.
Now, to make life easier, we’ve substituted phyllo pastry for the
strudel, and we think the tart is just as delicious.