Wickwood Inn Notebook recipes
A L L  T H E  L O C A L  N E W S,  G O S S I P,  R E C I P E S  A N D  L O R E  T H A T' S  F I T  T O   P R I N T flower_pot.jpg (1947 bytes) I N D I A N  S U M M E R   2 0 0 6

"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection" Curnonsky

In Wickwood's Kitchen ---


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 roasting.

l Plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
l Olive oil
l Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
l 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 perfect.

Roasted Tomatoes

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 tomatoes

Sundried Tomatoes

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.


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.

l ½ teaspoon sea salt
l 6 large cloves of garlic coarsely chopped
l ½ cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (added by mistake one day – now always)
l 1 cup fresh basil, leaves only, torn 1/3 at a time
l 1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
l Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Basil Hazelnut Pesto
"Trust your work. And never hope more than you work."
Rita Mae Brown

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.

l One sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed (we prefer Pepperidge Farm or Du Four)
l ¼ cup Roasted Tomato Pesto
l  6 tablespoons Basil Hazelnut Pesto
l 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
l 40 roasted tomato quarters (see method)
l ½ cup Parmagiano Reggiano , shards

Two-Pesto Tart
"A gourmet who looks at calories is like a tart who looks at her watch."
James Beard

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


This is a great side dish for a roast leg of lamb, veal chops or a beef tenderloin. It’s comfort food at its best.

l 30 plum tomatoes, quartered and roasted
l ½ cup white wine
l ½ cup golden raisins
l 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
l 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
l 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
l Pinch of cayenne pepper
l 1 loaf (1 pound) day-old bread, crust on, cut into ½ inch cubes
l 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
l 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese or Parmegiano Reggiano

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 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.

Serves 8

"Genius is immediate, but talent takes time." Janet Flanner


This classic is pure heaven!!

l 12 phyllo leaves, fresh or thoroughly defrosted
l 1 pound (4 sticks) sweet butter, melted
l 1½ cups granulated sugar
l ¾ cup Grand Marnier or Calvados, approximately
l 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
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.

Serves 8



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 little time.

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 seeds.

"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything."
Vincent Van Gogh


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.

l 20 roasted whole tomatoes (or 40 halves)
l 2 garlic cloves
l ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
l 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (slightly less if using oil-packed tomatoes).
l 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"
Persian Proverb

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"
Burton Anderson,
Treasures of the Italian Table

This taste of the summer can now be enjoyed anytime of year!

l 4 cups roasted tomatoes, quartered
l 1 pound cheese, rind removed, torn or cut into irregular pieces, Brie, Exporateur, Saint Andre or Boursin
l ½ cup Basil Hazelnut Pesto, or to taste
l ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon best-quality olive oil
l 1½ teaspoon salt-to taste
l 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper-to taste
l 1 pound linguine
l 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 4-6


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.

Note: Now, to make life easier, we’ve substituted phyllo pastry for the strudel, and we think the tart is just as delicious.


Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
Tel (800) 385-1174   |   http://www.wickwoodinn.com   |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors