It’s almost the end of tomato season here in the Delmarva area—and what better way to celebrate than by getting creative in the kitchen? In this inaugural edition of our “Let’s Eat, CAIC” series, which will highlight different ways to use local ingredients, two CAIC team members share tasty cherry tomato recipes to enjoy at any time of day. Read on, and then head to your favorite farmers market to grab some produce!
For Breakfast: Braised Cherry Tomato Scrambled Egg Avocado Toast
As documented in last week’s blog post, CAIC Social Media Manager Pam Foulke recently joined a group of Maryland Food Bank volunteers at Quarter Acre Farm for an afternoon of cherry tomato gleaning. Though almost all of the 120 pounds of tomatoes the group gathered went directly to a local food bank, Pam also got to take a carton of them home with her. She used them to make this tasty late-summer breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) sandwich. Watch a video of the cooking process here.
- A handful of cherry tomatoes (as many as you want!)
- Two eggs
- Half a tablespoon of butter (or as much as you want)
- Peppercorn melange to grind into the eggs
- Sea salt to taste (pro tip: reserve for use at the end; otherwise, it’ll break down the eggs)
- Two slices of bread (any kind)
- One tablespoon of queso fresco, plus more for garnish if you’d like
- Half an avocado
- A pinch of garlic powder (or fresh garlic)
- A pinch of onion powder
1- Crack the eggs in a bowl, add as much as you’d like of your favorite pepper (I like to use a peppercorn melange), and whisk them vigorously. Wash the cherry tomatoes.
2- Melt the butter in a pan, and add a pinch each of the garlic and onion powder. Add the whole, washed cherry tomatoes and sear them—let them brown on each side, until the skin is starting to come off.
3- Once the tomatoes are seared to your liking, add a little bit more butter (about ¼ of a teaspoon) if needed to the pan. Lower the heat, and add the egg mixture to the tomatoes. Stir all the ingredients; if you’d like, you can fold them over like an omelet.
4- Start to toast or grill the bread.
5- Once the eggs are mostly cooked, add as much of the cheese as you’d like to the mixture, along with some sea salt, and cook until it’s at your preferred texture.
6- Take the bread out of the toaster, and butter it to your liking. Place your eggs and cheese on top of the toast, and put the sliced avocado on top. Add a crack of sea salt and pepper, and more cheese for garnish if you’d like.
For Dinner: Summer Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta
Lydia Hall, a consultant for CAIC focused on communications and grants, was determined to get her hands on some local cherry tomatoes before the end of the season. So she paid a visit to the year-round, producer-only Mount Pleasant Farmers Market in northwest Washington, D.C. to pick up some bruschetta ingredients: fresh basil, a loaf of rosemary Italian bread from Atwater’s, fresh garlic, and of course cherry tomatoes.
- Two pounds (about two cartons) of cherry tomatoes
- Three or four cloves of garlic (or more, if you’d like)
- Four tablespoons of olive oil
- One bunch of fresh basil
- One loaf of bread (the crustier, the better; the rosemary loaf I picked up from Atwater’s was perfect!)
- Salt to taste
(Note: This made a perfectly sized dinner for my two-person household, but it’s also an ideal appetizer for a larger group)
1- Wash the cherry tomatoes. I cut the larger ones into smaller pieces, but the smaller ones can actually be cooked whole.
2- Chop the garlic cloves. Wash the basil, and rip about 10 or so leaves off of it.
3- Slice the bread into pieces about three-quarters of an inch thick. If you want, to make it easier to toast or grill, you can then cut each piece in half, widthwise.
4- Take a saute pan, and coat it with olive oil. Add the tomatoes, and then the garlic, along with salt to taste. I also added a few leaves of basil, torn into small pieces.
5- Cook the tomatoes for about 10-15 minutes, reducing to a low or medium heat after the first five or so. You can cook them for less time if you want (and some recipes call for that), but I find that more cooking time = a better, richer flavor.
6- As you’re cooking the tomatoes, begin toasting or grilling the bread. If, like me, you don’t own a toaster oven, grilling is a fantastic trick to know about! To grill your bread, take a large skillet or frying pan, and heat it to medium-high. As it’s warming, take the slices of bread, and brush both sides of each piece with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place them in the pan, and rotate every two minutes or so, until they’re grilled to your liking.
7- Remove the tomato mixture from the stovetop, and spoon it onto the slices of warm bread. Garnish each piece with as much basil as you’d like. Serve immediately.