Sunday, November 8, 2009

Roasted Tomato Soup & Lemon Basil Cauliflower Gratin



I'm sad to see this weekend end. Friday I saw my husband off on his business trip, and looked forward to my personal training appointment. My trainer cancelled, which killed my motivation to workout, and sent me on a comfort-food indulgence rampage. Unfortunately, my BBQ delivery was less than spectacular, and left me wishing that I had taken the time to cook something much better. But, it was all uphill from there. A friend made dinner for me on Saturday, and then I re-connected with lots of old friends at various birthday parties. I even talked to new people. I feel like maybe I haven't really participated in the world outside for a while. Sunday I continued my love-affair with society, and had brunch and went shopping with the girls. After the sessions of relationship talk and some retail-therapy, I came home to create the two dishes inspired by yesterday's greenmarket excursion.

The tomato soup was delicious. I usually keep vine tomatoes on hand, but these local New Jersey beefsteak and yellow tomatoes were juicy, perfectly ripe and sharply sweet. The grape tomatoes were quite sweet, as well. I'm not sure this soup would be as nice with a lesser quality tomato. The cream added at the end brings out the sweet and salty flavors - but I add it mostly to convince myself that I'm not just eating tomato sauce. The cheddar cauliflower is a little milder than the white, and it made a very nice roasted gratin. I served it all alongside simple salt and pepper sauteed lamb loin chops - but my meat-cooking skills are a little rusty, so the veggies were definitely the best part.

Roasted Tomato Soup
(about 5-6 Cups)
1 large Yellow Tomato
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 medium to large Beefsteak tomatoes
2 small yellow onions
4 small garlic cloves smashed
2C water
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt, plus more to taste if needed
20 grinds black pepper
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Heavy Cream, to taste

Quarter the large tomatoes. Quarter and separate layers of the onions. Toss tomatoes, onions and garlic with olive oil and salt and roast 30 minutes at 450 in a glass baking dish. When browned and soft, empty all contents and juices from the dish into a stock pot.

Add water, sugar, salt, pepper and butter. Boil 20-25 minutes. Transfer to blender in batches. Loosely hold the center of the top with a towel and puree until smooth. Add back to the pot and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with about 1 Tbsp heavy cream drizzled into each 1 Cup of soup. (At first I added too much cream to my bowl - so add just a little at a time, you can always add more).


Lemon-Basil Cauliflower Gratin
(4 servings)
1 medium head of Cauliflower
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Lemon Juice from 1 lemon
Nutmeg – few grates of fresh through microplane over the pan
Salt
Pepper – a few grinds
2 Tbsp fresh chopped Basil
2 Tbsp Breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp Grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp Shredded Mozzarella

Boil Cauliflower about 5 mintues and drain. In a large shallow glass baking dish, toss w/ oil, lemon, nutmeg, salt, pepper and half the basil. Top sparingly with breadcrumbs and cheese. Roast until browned (about 30 minutes at 450). Garnish with basil chiffonade.

1 comment:

Karine said...

Both your recipes sound delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

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