Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summer Cooking

Tomato plants. Digital ID: 407707. New York Public Library

I hesitate to use "cooking" here because this recipe hardly requires any. I made these tomatoes once before in early March and they were a hit. I thought of them again last night as I sat slumped over my kitchen table trying to think of a delicious, yet refreshing recipe to serve at a summer dinner party I'm giving. The recipe comes from the 2004 Gourmet Cookbook which is available in the Rose Main Reading Room. I have my own copy -- with the original yellow-on-white titles -- and although I don't consult it as much as some others in my collection, when I do I'm always pleased. I think this recipe alone is enough to buy the book, or rather, peruse it at the Library.

Vodka-Spiked Cherry Tomatoes with Pepper Salt
(from the Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1,000 Recipes)

3 pints firm small red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 c. vodka
3T. white wine vinegar
1T. superfine sugar
1t. finely grated lemon zest
3T. kosher salt
1 1/2 t. coarsely ground black pepper

Cut a small X in the bottom of each tomato. Blanch tomatoes 5 at a time in a 2 quart saucepan of boiling water for 3 seconds, then immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop the cooking. Drain tomatoes and peel. Transfer to a large shallow dish.

Stir together vodka, vinegar, sugar, and zest in small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Pour over tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Marinate, covered and refridgerated, for at least 30 minutes.

Stir together salt and pepper in a small bowl. Serve with tomatoes for dipping.