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For a tomato side dish, borrow an idea from summer fruit

Recipe: Try a savory crisp with yellow tomatoes

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My yellow tomato varieties this year, clockwise from top left:
Pork Chop, Chef's Choice Orange, Limmony
and Lemon Boy. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

My counter runneth over with tomatoes.

The heat this past week meant lots of ripening, and I wanted to use some of this fresh bounty quickly before I got into canning or freezing the rest.

Gazpacho is always a possibility, or a quick pasta dish, but I poked around for ideas among the go-to recipes for other summer produce such as peaches. Cobbler, sure, and what about crisp?

Sure enough, I found a couple of recipes, latching onto one developed by a pair of gardeners who also cook, at
whiteonricecouple.com . Since this seems to be the Year of the Yellow Tomato in my garden, I decided to use all yellows, a mix of heirlooms and hybrids. (Well, one pink Brandy Boy that HAD to be used immediately snuck in there.) This produced a mild crisp in which all the spices were in the crumbly topping. It was delicious served alongside turkey meatballs and green salad. Italian sausage would be another good accompaniment.

The yellow tomatoes I used, if you’re taking notes for next year, were: Lemon Boy, Limmony, Pork Chop, Chef’s Choice Orange (OK, it’s gold) and even a couple Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes, just to say I did. I also peeled most of them -- they were very ripe and peeled easily -- but that’s up to you.

Savory tomato crisp

Adapted from a 2013 recipe at whiteonricecouple.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

Butter for greasing dish

For filling:
2 pounds tomatoes, peeled if desired, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
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 Bubbly filling and a crunchy top: It's a tomato crisp

For topping:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick or instant)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 2-quart casserole or baking dish.

Place the tomato wedges (peeled if desired) into the dish. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the tomatoes, stir, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Set dish aside while you make the topping.

Whisk together the flour, cheese, parsley and thyme. Stir in the garlic, brown sugar and the 1 teaspoon salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Blend in the rolled oats.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the tomatoes. Bake the crisp 45 to 50 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving, or allow to cool to room temperature.

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RECIPE

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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