Thursday, August 3, 2017

Recipes for Tu B'av - for .alma

My article with recipes for Tu B'av (the Jewish Day of Love) is up on .alma right now!

Below is the dish that I can't stop eating right now. It's more of a recommendation than a recipe - which is my favorite kind of dish to make. And is there anything better than tomatoes in August? They help me get through the dog days of summer here in Los Angeles. You need so little to make them good. And in my humble opinion, beautiful sweet tomatoes, heavily salted, on crisp good bread with excellent butter is incredibly romantic. Enjoy!

Tomato Thyme Toasts
Serves 8-10

Baguette or small loaf of good crusty bread, cut into ¾” slices
2 lbs. of your favorite tomatoes
6-7 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed from stem
Butter (splurge on some good stuff)
Maldon salt or kosher salt, to taste
Good extra virgin olive oil, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Slice the tomatoes into rounds, just under ½” thick. Lightly salt the tomato slices. The salt will start to soften the tomatoes and season them all the way through.

Place the bread slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake the bread for 6-8 minutes, or until just toasted and beginning to brown on the edges. Once the bread is toasted, spread butter onto each piece. This dish is all about layering of fats and salt with the tomatoes.

Top the toasts with the tomato slices. Top the tomato slices with thyme leaves. Drizzle with a little more olive oil (for a little more oomph). Sprinkle Maldon salt over everything – this will add a nice salty crunch.

You can bake the toasts ahead of time and assemble them with tomatoes when you’re ready to serve, the bread doesn’t have to be hot, and the tomatoes will mellow out the bread’s crunch.