This is the time for tomatoes. They're everywhere, from big bushel baskets at the farmer's market to hanging in clusters off backyard plants. What is great about the tomato is that it's so versatile. It's amazing what home chefs can do with them, especially with anchovies. Surprisingly it's a great marriage of opposites..
David Tanis knows this and featured the fruit in his A City Kitchen column in yesterday's New York Times Food section.He gives us three tasty recipes home chefs can play with during the height of the tomato season.What is unusual about them is that they all contain anchovies. The fish's saltiness and meatiness gives the dishes a unami flavor that pairs well with the tomatoes' sweetness. He recommends going for the best. They'll obviously cost more but so worth it. Look for the oil packed kind from Spain, southern France or Italy.Most Italian delis sell salt packed versions that still have all their bones These require extra work that will require rinsing and deboning. Don't worry about this last. Filleting them is easy. Using them pays off. Theye have a greater texture and tend to be milder than the ones packed in oil. Mr. Tanis does offer a tip about the packed ones - briefly rinse them in lukewarm water, followed by blotting them on paper towels.Don't go for the paste. Save that for brushing on grilled steaks.To add to the flavor , quickly the tomatoes them to give them a smokiness
The three recipes offered are easy along with being flavorful.The first is charred tomatoes with eggs, anchovies and bread crumbs. Alternate charred tomato slices and hard boiled eggs on platter Drape the anchovy fillets over the eggs and then add a Dijon mustard infused vinaigrette. Freshly ground bread crumbs are them sprinkled over the entire dish, sort of like a cold version of tomatoes Provencale. The next dish is kind of a cross between pizza and pissaladiere. It is an olive oil based pastry crust dotted with tomatoes and mozzarella. Top with the fillets along with capers and olives if you want. Mr. Tanis also recommends adding rosemary and hot pepper too.One of the easiest and best to make during these sweltering days is pasta fredda. The sauce is a cold one, prepared hours in advance.It's a blend of chopped red onion and cherry tomatoes, anchovies, garlic and pepper with olive oil and vinegar as the base. Keep in the fridge for three hours. Use spaghetti or linguine for the pasta and cook according to directions. Add the cherry tomato sauce along with extra olive oil and basil.
This is the height of the tomato season right now. Pair them with anchovies for a flavorful marriage that works well. It's a great union of salty and sweet.