Tomato cobbler. I was intrigued too. Cobbler is made with fruit. But I guess tomatoes really are a fruit…so it should all work out right? Would it be sorta tomato-saucy? Or maybe the ‘fruit’ would turn sweet. The recipe has been on the very top of my To-Make-Recipes pile ever since it received all the Tweets from others who were also intrigued by the thought of Mark Bittman’s Tomato Cobbler.
So here’s my report on the version with the herb topping which came together super fast once I dragged out the food processor: It was AMAZING! The fruit got juicy and rich and unami (yes, seriously.) The cornmeal baked up toasty to give the biscuit topping a buttery crunch. The tomato juices got wonderfully thick, thanks to just the right amount of cornstarch. And the herbs in the topping added just the right amount of sparkle – without the little kicks of herbal flavor from chives, basil and mint that I used, the dish may have been a little flat.
The dish would be perfect along a nice piece of lemon baked fish. (I just learned from The Splendid Table that lemon is a flavor that complements tomato nicely.) Tomato Cobbler would also be lovely topped with a rich scoop of crème fraiche and served with lemon vinaigrette-dressed salad and corn on the cob. (Corn and tomatoes are also a favorite combo.) But here’s our reality: We had it for dessert topped with plain yogurt. See, my girls had been playing hard all afternoon and were starved. So I whipped the recipe together but knew they couldn’t wait the 50 minutes (on the dot) for it to bake. So I served them deer sausage sandwiches and told them we had cobbler for dessert. Now granted, they were not quite as excited about Tomato Cobbler with herbs for dessert (sans ice cream that usually accompanies cobbler in our house) as they would’ve been by Blueberry Cobbler (with ice cream!) But they did eat every bite of my new favorite cobbler.
While growing up on a ranch in Montana, I learned to appreciate food by watching my parents take it from the field to the plate. I helped my mother garden, preserve vegetables and milk the cow. Loving food led me to a career as a registered dietitian. And now as a mom, I enjoy teaching my children to cook and appreciate how food gets to their plate – here in a Chicago suburb. At the end of the day, it sometimes seems that all I've accomplished is to get dinner on the table. But if my kids helped, a lesson was learned and we most certainly had fun.