TomatoMania- Candied Tomatoes & Sweet Basil Cookies

candied tomatoes with basil cookiesToday is Monday. I am sure all the TomatoManiacs out there are good and ready for another of the TomatoMania contest winners. You may view the other TomatoMania winners here.

So never fear! 5 Star Foodie is here. I am making her recipe for Candied Tomatoes with Basil Cookies and Honey Greek Yogurt.

I am not going to lie to you. This recipe sort of scared me. I mean Natasha at 5 Star is a very creative cook, with a lot more experience in the kitchen than I have. She has traveled extensively and finds great inspiration for her cooking among some of the great restaurants of the world.

I knew I would love the super buttery basil cookie. In fact I have been anxiously awaiting the day to make this little cookie. That is not where my anxities stemmed.

The truth is, my initial response to a candied tomato, roasted at a high heat, was, shall we say… measured.

Because of my initial trepidation about the tomato in this recipe, I strongly considered adapting this recipe to fit into my comfort zone.

5 star foodie recipe cardTo me a roasted tomato, drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with fresh oregano is a little bit of heaven. I had a lot of trouble expanding my brain to include sugar.

But let’s face it tomatoes are naturally sweet. I also know that slow roasting a tomato at a very low temperature (say 4 hours at 200 degrees) is a super way to bring out the sweetness in any tomato.

So my first instinct was to basically follow Natasha’s recipe, but rather than roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, I thought I might bake the tomato low and slow with sugar and butter for 3 or 4 hours at 200 degrees.

But deep inside I knew this change would change the texture, presentation and very possibly the intent of this recipe. So in the end I put my trust in 5 Star and followed her instructions.

The end result was nothing as I imagined. The quick cooking time and sugar really did produce a fruit with the taste and texture of fruit pie filling. But it’s hard to say exactly what fruit. It certainly did not seem traditionally tomatoey. It had the texture of baked peaches, but brighter and more acidic than peaches, and super sweet like strawberries.

In fact the sweetness led me to make one change to Natasha’s recipe. I thought honey in the yogurt was just too much the same as the sweet, jammy tomato. So I added a bit of unsweetened, fresh tomato juice to plain yogurt.

To me it brought the sweetness in balance and had enough true tomato taste to bring out the tomato taste in the, well…
tomato!

I am including the recipe just as it was written however. You can make your own mind up about how to flavor the yogurt to suit your own tastes. I could imagine a little balsamic might be really wonderful also!

basil cookiesCookies: (about 1 dozen)

1 1/2 cup flour
1-teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2-cup sugar
1/2-cup butter, softened
1 egg
About 1 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Tomatoes: (serves 4)
2 large heirloom tomatoes
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons honey
roasting tomatoesAdditional sugar

Yogurt:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey

Directions:

Cookies:
Finely chop basil and place in a food processor.  Add lemon juice and mix until well blended. Pour into a bowl and whisk in the egg.  

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. In a third large bowl, cream butter and sugar together, then mix in the basil-egg mixture and flour mixture, until the dough forms. Shape in a ball, cover in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. 

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Scoop tablespoonfuls of cookie dough and form into small rounds. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes. Then, bake for about 12-15 minutes.  

roasted candied tomatoes with basil cookiesTomatoes:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Cut tomatoes in half and arrange the tomato halves on a baking sheet.  Mash butter with sugar and honey to form a paste. Spread 1/4 of the mixture on each of the 4 tomato halves. Sprinkle generously with additional sugar. Bake tomatoes for about 15-20 minutes.   

Yogurt:
Mix honey and Greek yogurt together.   

Assembly: 

On each plate place a tomato half, top with a generous dollop of honey yogurt, and add one or two cookies on a side.

SERIOUS FUN FOOD

Greg Henry

SippitySup

 



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