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 7

Heirloom Tomatoes
"Two of the greatest things in life are true love, and a great tomato --- And, they
are two of the hardest things to find." Armandino Batali

In Wickwood's Kitchen ---


In Spain tomatoes are celebrated with Gazpacho!! Chopped with other vegetables into a chunky soup that can start or become the meal. This is one of our favorite "appetizers in a glass" served to sip during the cocktail hour, or at table. We serve it in a 4 ounce tall slender glass and inevitably it is cause for comment!! Add miniature versions of your favorite Bloody Mary garnishes or shavings of the Gazpacho ingredients and you’ll have people chuckling. Serves 8-16

l 6 quite large ripe, ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juices saved
l 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
l 2 medium-size yellow onions, coarsely chopped
l 2 larges shallots, chopped
l 2 large English cucumbers, peeled, coarsely chopped
l ½ cup red wine vinegar
l ½ cup olive oil, best quality
l 3 cups tomato juice (homemade or store-bought)
l ½ cup chopped fresh dill
l ¼ teaspoon Pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika)
l Pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired
l Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

"Great art picks up where nature ends."
Marc Chagall

1. Place the chopped vegetables in a large bowl and mix.
2. In a bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, reserved tomato juices, and tomato juice.
3. In a blender or a food processor, mince the vegetables in small batches, adding the tomato juice mixture as necessary to keep the blades from clogging. Do not puree completely; you want gazpacho with a crunch. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining juice, dill, Pimenton, salt and pepper. Add cayenne to taste, if extra heat is desired. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
3. To serve, stir, taste and correct the seasonings and ladle into glasses, mugs, or soup bowls.

POMODORO (pom-oh-DOR-oh) (Tomato Bread Soup)

Nowhere in the world is the tomato harvest celebrated more than in Italy. The Italians have also perfected how to cook these juicy wonders to best show off their flavor. This is thick and substantial, served only slightly warmed, and with a green salad alongside becomes a great Indian Summer supper. Serves 4-6

l 2 tablespoons olive oil
l 2 tablespoons minced garlic (or to taste)
l 1½ tablespoons minced shallots
l 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
l ¼ cup slivered fresh basil leaves
l 2/3 cup chicken broth
l Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
l 5 slices day-old country bread, sliced ½ inch thick
l Chopped fresh basil (optional)
l Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

"Simplicity is the sign of perfection"

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and shallots, and cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, 10 minutes 2. Add the tomatoes, basil, stock, and salt and pepper. Stir, and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces and add them to the soup. Let it cook for one minute, then remove from the heat and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve sprinkled with chopped basil and Parmesan cheese.

Note: To change this from a chunky soup to a more “drinkable” soup for hors d'oeuvres, puree soup with an immersion blender and add up to 4 cups of great quality tomato juice. The flavor is so substantial that it remains delicious.


Every August, the Italian town of Amatrice holds a gala celebration marking their tomato harvest. It’s principal attraction is this sauce, served with the thick hollow spaghetti called bucatini. This is one of those tomato sauces worth making from scratch!! Serves 6 with 1 pound of pasta

l 2 tablespoons olive oil
l 2 medium-sized yellow onions, coarsely chopped
l 4 ounces pancetta (or Canadian bacon, trimmed of fat) cut into strips
l 6 garlic cloves, chopped
l 4 cups fresh ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
l 2 tablespoons sugar
l ¾ cup dry red wine
l Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Amatriciana Sauce   

1. Heat the oil in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and sauté for 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the bacon and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes more.
3. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Such a delicious way to savor cherry tomatoes almost anytime of year, but especially wonderful during the season. And, so simple!! They add just the right sparkle to a meal. Remember the fewer the ingredients the more important the quality of each one.  Serves 6

l 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
l 3 pints ripe cherry tomatoes, stemmed, rinsed and dried
l 2 tablespoons fresh herbs – fresh or dried basil, oregano, tarragon, or rosemary
l Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes   

1. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over low heat. Add the tomatoes and raise the heat. Shake and roll the tomatoes around in the butter until they are shiny and heated through, no more than 5 minutes. Please don’t overcook. Add your choice of herbs and cook 30 seconds longer.
2. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately. That’s it!


Everyone has their favorite. This is mine. Serves 4

l 4 large ripe tomatoes (about 3 cups, juices retained)
l 4 chopped scallions (green part only)
l ¼ cup chopped cilantro
l ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
l 2 cloves garlic, minced
l 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper
l 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
l 2 tablespoons olive oil
l 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
l 1 tablespoon lime zest
l Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fresh Tomato Salsa   

1. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and let marinate for at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Please don’t refrigerate, it changes the texture of the tomatoes.


Wonderful to have in the fridge to jazz up a meatloaf, scrambled eggs, a burger or simply spread atop crostini smeared with a bit of cheese.

l 6 allspice berries
l 6 whole cloves
l ½ teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes
l ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
l 1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juices retained
l 1 cup sugar
l ½ cup cider vinegar
l 1 teaspoon salt
l ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sassy Summer Chutney   

1. Combine the allspice, cloves, red pepper flakes, and mustard seeds in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie it securely with a long piece of kitchen string, forming a spice bag. Leave the string long.
2. Place the tomatoes and all remaining ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Add the spice bag, letting the string hang out of the pan. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the spice bag. Let the jam cool and refrigerate.


Rosy peppers add a vibrant accent of color when served on crostini as an hors d’oeuvre. Or, they make a great vegetable side dish when served at room temperature. We make batches and batches of this to freeze in zip lock bags and serve all year long. Serves6

l ½ cup best-quality olive oil
l 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
l 2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
l 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into very thin strips
l 2 yellow or orange bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into very thin strips
l ½ teaspoon herbes de Provence, or dried thyme
l Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
l 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
l ½ cup finely slivered fresh basil leaves

Peppers Provencal   

1. Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions and peppers; season with the herbs and salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are limp, tender, and lightly browned, about 30-45 minutes. The peppers should have a marmalade like appearance.
2. Add the garlic and basil and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and let cool to room temperature. Drain any excess oil. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature.


My Mom’s old-fashioned recipe is still the most comforting crispy topping for a Crisp --- be it apples, or berries, peaches or plums! This must be served warm with ice cream, or why bother! With heavy cream the next morning for breakfast, it's pretty good too.
Serves 4 to 6.

l 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced, or your favorite heirloom apple for baking
l 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
l 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
l 1 cup sugar
l 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
l ½ teaspoon salt
l ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

Apple Crisp   

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8x8 inch glass baking dish.
2. Place a layer of apple slices in the pan and sprinkle with some of the lemon juice. Repeat the layers until all of the apples are in the pan. Lightly press down on the apples to level them.
3. Process the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade just to combine. Add the butter and process, pulsing, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. If you prefer, this can also be done in a bowl, using two knives to cut in the butter. The mixture should resemble coarse meal.
4. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the apples, making sure the edges are well sealed.
5. Bake until the top is golden and the apples are tender, about 1 hour. Serve warm.


“Looks may be deceiving. It’s eating that’s believing”
James Thurber

Everyone’s favorites as the tomato season bursts forth are the jewel like “heirlooms” shining in every size, color and shape. Most have dazzling good looks, but some a blemished exterior that hides brilliantly breathtaking tomato flavor—a perfect example of our favorite Thurber quote.

Heirlooms are the true glories of the season, worth searching for and even better worth saving seeds from those you love to grow your own next year.

Our Favorites:
l Gold Rush Currants
l The 1884’s
l Snow White
l Thai Pink
l Yellow Perfection
l Black Prince
l Boony Best
l Chocolate
l Ester Hess Yellow Cherry
l Lollipop
l Principe Borghese
l Porter’s Dark

Cherry Heirloom seeds may be found at:



The craft of artisanal chesses has recently exploded in America. Across the country passionate cheese lovers have studied the art of authentic cheese making in Europe, invested in cheese rooms and small herds of heirloom goats, sheep, or cows and begun to make wonderfully creative cheeses. With all, flavor comes first in these often organic or farmstead seasonal cheeses that reflect their “terroir”— the character of their environment.

Our advice is to taste as many of these as you can, keep tasting notes, and don’t be shy. Remember the motto of cheese makers around the world is “If it smells bad, it will probably taste good. Very, very good.”

Be adventurous – a restaurant’s cheese tasting course is a great way to sample new cheeses.

Ripening Room

Some of our favorites:

l Green Mountain Farm in Vermont “Gore-dawn-zola”
l Massachusetts “Berkshire Blue”
l FireFly Farms "Mountain Top Blue”

l Cypress Grove’s ”Humboldt Fog”
l Indiana’s Capriole Farm with “Wabash Cannonballs”
l Coach Farm’s “Green Peppercorn Pyramid”
l Vermont’s Butter & Cheese Company’s ”Marscapone”
l California’s Gioia Cheese’s “Bufala di Mozzarella”
l Louisana’s Bittersweet Dairy’s “Feliciana Nevat
l Capriole Farm’s “Fromage a Trois”
l Green Valley Dairy of Pennsylvania’s “Noble”
l California’s Winchester Cheeses “Gouda Boere Kaas”
l Capriole Farm’s “Tumalo Tomme"
l Juniper Grove from Oregon’s “Rolf Beeler’s Gruyere"
l Vermont’s Thistle Hill Farm’s “Tarentaise Alpine“
l Sweet Grass Dairy’s “Holly Springs”
l Old Chatham Sheepherding’s “Hudson Valley Camembert”
l Sweet Hill Farm’s “Green Hill”
l Vermont’s Lazy Lady “Buck Hill Sunshine”
l Washington’s Sally Jackson Cheeses “Chestnut Leaf Aged Sheep“
l Vermont’s Jasper Hill Farm “Constant Bliss”

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

One of the most well loved cool weather hors d’oeuvres at Wickwood. This has just the right “kick” to warm the cockles of your heart and set the tone for the evening. Don’t even think of using red peppers in a jar. Serves 8 to 12

l 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
l ½ cup mayonnaise (Hellmann’s)
l 1½ cups grated Parmesan (here, we actually use the Green stuff, believe it or not --- it makes it fluffier)
l 1½ cups Asiago cheese, grated l ½ teaspoon Pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika)
l 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
l ½ cup chopped roasted red peppers (freshly roasted)

1. Preheat oven to 350
°F. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Spread mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Bake 40-45 minutes until hot and bubbly.
3. Serve with crackers, country bread or crostini.

Pistachios Almonds
"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart."
     Erma Bombeck

Nutty little crackers that are embarrassingly simple --- which is great as they disappear very, very quickly. A terrific easy dessert with fruit or ice cream, to round out a cookie plate or to accompany a cheese coarse, Cognac or Brandy. Vary the nuts and each creates its own special flavors. Yield 45

l 45 Club crackers (one sleeve)
l ½ cup unsalted butter
l ½ cup sugar
l 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
l 1 cup slivered almonds
l 1 cup pistachio nuts, shelled

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Place crackers in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet.
3. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter. Add sugar and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes until mixture begins to thicken slightly.
4. Spread over crackers. Sprinkle nuts evenly.
5. Bake for 15-17 minutes until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and immediately remove from baking sheet, cutting between crackers, if needed. Cool on a wire rack. Store in air-tight container.

Heirloom Aooles


Thousands of heirloom varieties of apples have been revitalized by seedsavers.com. Just the names and dates make us dream of times long ago:
l Ananas Reinette, The Netherlands, circa 1821
l Coe’s Golden Drop, England, 1842
l Black Twig of Arkansas, 1868
l Nehou from France, 1920
l Mother of Massachusetts, 1840
l Duchess of Oldenburg from Russia, 1700
l Api Etoile of Switzerland, 1600. Take a bite of history and marvel at the flavors that have traveled through time.

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