When I was a kid, we went home for lunch. No school lunches back then. We lived in a little town called Algonac in Michigan. Dad drove us to school in the morning and again after lunch but we walked home, weather permitting of course. It was about a mile. I've often thought since: my poor mother. The entire family (including my dad) came home for lunch. She had to plan three meals a day. And she fussed, too. It wasn't just a bunch of pb and j's on the table. We had hot lunches....and some kind of fruit or pudding. I always remember stewed prunes being served with mac and cheese. Who knows why that one particular lunch stayed in my mind?
So here I am, with just me to worry about, still looking around for innovative luncheon ideas. We tend to get repetitive, don't we? Probably the time element. I even wrote a post about it a while back. But every once in a while, a friend may be coming over, or I feel like rewarding myself and I really want something special. What to make that's fast and delicious?? In the summer when tomatoes are at their best, my favorite company go-to sandwich is a tomato sandwich à la Ina Garten. I like her dressed up version. But for speed (and just for me) I take those lovely, garden-fresh red tomatoes, add some butter lettuce, real mayo and plunk it on some fresh country bread. Heaven, for sure.
Unfortunately, it's officially still winter so I'll save those two sandwiches for summer. Even when we can get lovely tomatoes this time of year, they just don't taste the same as the ones you get in the summer at the farmer's markets. Then I ran across this super recipe in Simon Hopkinson's book, Roast Chicken and Other Stories. I really love this cookbook. Last August it was listed in the top 10 cookbooks by the London Observer. I've started reading it again, wondering how I missed this gem of a recipe the first time around.
Creamed Tomatoes on Toast
From Simon Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and Other Stories
8 ounces heavy cream (the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
6 ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise and cored
Salt and pepper
12 basil or mint leaves, torn into pieces (I used basil)
4 slices of French country bread, grilled or toasted and brushed with a little olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Simmer the cream with the garlic and reduce by one-third. Put the tomatoes, cut-side uppermost, in an ovenproof dish and season them with salt and pepper. Strain the cream into a bowl and stir in the basil or mint. Lightly season and pour over the tomatoes.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cream is reduced and is thick and the tops of the tomatoes are slightly blistered. Meanwhile, have ready the toast on 2 plates and spoon a few tomatoes onto each slice. Spoon some residual cream over the top. Serves 2.
Tons of flavour and simple...this recipe is calling my name ;O)ReplyDelete
Barbara...I too am very disappointed in our lesser tasty winter tomato offerings. My way around this is by roasting Roma tomato slices with a little sea salt, cane sugar and garlic powder...delicious and always waiting for me in my fridge ;o)
Have a great weekend and flavourful wishes,
Your mom sounds so caring..I could swear there was cheese on the tomatoes..that looks so good!ReplyDelete
Do you have the book by Judith Jones about coking for one?http://www.amazon.com/Pleasures-Cooking-One-Judith-Jones/dp/0307270726/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1298719496&sr=1-1
IT looks so good..I saw her being interviewed..
Thank you for this recipe..
Oooh that looks good. Wonder how it would go with extra bacon, or maybe that would be overkill. I've got to check out that book, sounds very interesting.ReplyDelete
I am swallowing hard. What an easy yet elegant lunch. Your right there is nothing like a summer tomato. Great recipe thank you.ReplyDelete
A terrific idea! Those look so delicious.ReplyDelete
What a great mom! This looks like the perfect brunch.ReplyDelete
Don't you missed the old days! Your mom must be a terrific cook & baker back then. And that makes you a good cook too! These tomatoes on toast looks pretty good and simple. Thanks for sharing. Hope you're enjoying your weekend. Have fun!ReplyDelete
With MORE snow outside my window, those creamed tomatoes look like summer on a plate. Although I didn't come home for lunch, I remember delicious hot lunches at school. I also remember trudging a very long distance to school each day--actually about a block and a half!! Ah what tricks memory plays at times.ReplyDelete
This sounds like such a beautiful lunch! We never came home for lunch and it was always sandwiches, but I would have loved to come home to this!ReplyDelete
This looks like a very comforting lunch Barbara. Love the creaminess and the bread soaking up all those juices.ReplyDelete
My mouth is watering just looking at your delicious photos! I think you have found the perfect lunch:)ReplyDelete
I agree, this looks wonderful! I would have loved to come home to this!! Thanks!ReplyDelete
the minute i saw your pictures my mouth started watering! this looks so good, i especially love the basil.ReplyDelete
what a mom! you must have lovely memories of your meals growing up!
This is the post that is sending me to the kitchen to make lunch! Looks so delish my tummy cant take it anymore.ReplyDelete
Sounds wonderful! Heavy cream and baked tomatoes what could be wrong?ReplyDelete
slurp!!!These luk deliciousReplyDelete
Simple but it looks absolutely fantastic! One look at that delicious pic and I really need to make this sooner than later!ReplyDelete
I think this sounds pretty tasty. I would have used the basil too. Not sure I can even imagine mint in this dish.ReplyDelete
Oh Barbara I think I can make it for lunch next week. Promise me, that you will serve this!!! (Don't I wish) But wow, this souds sooooo good.ReplyDelete
I too, went home for lunch everyday until we moved to the farm. My mom is a great cook,and seemed to make every meal an occasion.
I shouldn't confess, but I will... my stomach growled while I was reading this post and admiring the photos. Luckily, we have all the ingredients in the house.ReplyDelete
these are my very favorite type of dishes - simple, quick and yet satisfying in every single way imaginable! cannot wait to try this one!ReplyDelete
How absolutely delicious Barbara! And so decadent with the cream - sounds pretty special!ReplyDelete
Your Mother sounded like she was a great cook too, and can see where you got your love of cooking from.
We use to go home for lunch everyday when we were at Primary school and would so look forward to my Mum cooking up yummy food.
this looks delicious and one of my favourite lunches now, are slices of tomato on toast with sea-salt and ground pepper.
I have to admit the recipe title didn't sound all that exciting, but the picture totally sold me!ReplyDelete
Decadence in simplicity. How lovely. What would you suggest as a beverage, Barbara? Just curious...ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing both the recipe and the memories:)
When I read the title I was so intrigued as to what the recipe would be. Nothing as I was expecting..looks and sounds like a delicious lunch or evening meal!!ReplyDelete
wow love this i hear you lunches can get a bit boring great recipeReplyDelete
So delicious, sounds like a perfect lunch to me!ReplyDelete
this reminds me off my last vacation in Italy !!pierreReplyDelete
What a fantastic simple rustic meal, this would be perfect on a cold day when I need a little comfort food.ReplyDelete
A simple, but very flavoursome and mouthwatering!ReplyDelete
Beautiful! I would consider this a real treat for lunch!ReplyDelete
I really need to get that cookbook... I've seen so many great recipes from it... and it even says so on the cover... how can you go wrong with the most useful cookbook of all time??? I love ideas for quick lunches... I usually just eat a left over or peanut butter toast (just like a kid!).ReplyDelete
BTW... I just got my first millet and I'm making it tonight... can't wait.
I have that book but I never imagined that creamed tomatoes would look so beautiful! What a wonderful lunch!ReplyDelete
barbara -- this isn't exactly a sterling comment, but your post was to be sure. your poor mother. wow, lunch, hot lunches at that, 5 days a week. she is a saint. this is a grand recipe. and i love reading about your childhood. is that upper peninsula? seems like all of michigan would be cold, but the northern climes seem to make for walking 1 mile home a better story!ReplyDelete
my favorite tomato story was when i was about 10, one of my older brothers teaching me the wonders of sliced tomatoes covered salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar. oh, who knew such things as a 10 yr-old?! your post makes my mouth water!
I would love to have them for breakfast Barbara. They look so creamy and delicious!ReplyDelete
Looks so creamy and delicious!ReplyDelete
salivating... not a good start to my say since i need to shrink!ReplyDelete
That looks like a wonderful cookbook. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!ReplyDelete
Oh my, does this look incredible! What a great way to prepare tomatoes...and I'm like you, tomatoes are a favorite of mine!ReplyDelete
Sounds so comforting! I used to love having lunch at home when we lived in France--my maman would pick me up and my favorite dish was a carrot and cucumber salad with warm baguette. Still remember it like it was yesterday!ReplyDelete
Your creamed tomatoes on toast look like the ultimate comfort food! What a lovely winter rendition of the tomato sandwich!ReplyDelete
I love these simple yet flavorful snacks! I think that the cream is such an enhancer for the tomato and the bread gives it a nice chew. Perfect.ReplyDelete
great--now i'm even more upset that tomatoes are costing an arm and a leg! this looks IMMENSELY satisfying--you've introduced me to something i'll surely come to know very well. :)ReplyDelete
I love food on toast! Meat sauce on toast, tuna melt on toast...oh yum!ReplyDelete
I do get in a lunch rut! This looks delicious and now I want to check out the cookbook,too.ReplyDelete
Tomatoes and cream, how can you go wrong? I'll have to remember this on. I have been meaning to check out that book forever,thanks for the reminder.ReplyDelete
I used to walk home for lunch every day.. My mom had a schedule, Monday - fried bologna sandwiches, Tuesday - egg salad sandwiches...and so on, except for report card day and then we had German Pancakes!ReplyDelete
I think these need to go on my lunch rotation, starting maybe today...
Im soo glad u like Ina:-)ReplyDelete
The garlic in the cream sounds good and these tomatoes are jus what would be good with a light salad or a veg too or jus on their own!
Hahaha, I love that you posted this. I sometimes have this as a snack, and secretly do so because I feel like some people might scoff at me for having canned tomatoes on toast. Hooray that I am not the only one!ReplyDelete
oh now I'm totally craving fresh tomatoes! this looks wonderful!ReplyDelete
Yum. This looks really good. I will save this idea for tomato season, up here in the North!ReplyDelete
Gorgeous Toasts! Love the creamy tomato topping.ReplyDelete
I love all variations of bruschetta, though I've never tried it with heavy cream!ReplyDelete
Wow! What a terrific and delicious idea for tomatoes. Love that you used cream!ReplyDelete
My three kids come home for lunch...and I DO run out of creative ideas!! I find myself repeating old family favorites...Thanks for this suggestion! My kids will love it!!ReplyDelete
Barbara, these tomatoes in cream on the toast look fabulous...I can only imagine the taste of it...beautifully done :-)ReplyDelete
You are taking me back to my childhood on my daddy's knee, Barbara! When it was his night to cook (once a week, or so) he would make meals on toast: corned beef with horseradish, fin 'n hattie, creamed mushrooms, leftover beef with onions and gravy - and sometimes tomatoes. All of these meals were simple, scrumptious and relaxed as mom wasn't home and we didn't have to use proper supper manners. We didn't have to make the tedious salad I loved to eat and hated making, and we didn't have to do the dishes. Dad's treat.ReplyDelete
These look lovely.
Oh, my word, that DOES look heavenly! Ack! Must! Have! Now!ReplyDelete
I used to walk home for lunch too, but we lived just blocks from school. I thisnk this dish looks heavenly, so so good! I would walk a mile for that! The tomatoes here in Florida don't come anywhere close to the ones my mother grew up in Michigan.ReplyDelete