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Once Again—Potato, Tomato & Zucchini Tian with Gruyère and Thyme

For the 4th of July I made the above Potato, Tomato & Zucchini Tian with Gruyère and Thyme. Mister Sive was cooking away on the grill. I posted the above on social media and was asked to give out the recipe. I had written about it for the blog several years ago. This time I also added minced garlic to the onions as they initially cooked away. The Vashon Island Thriftway had gorgeous looking garlic bulbs so I just had to give one a try. Aside from that, it was just like I wrote about in 2014. This is a great thing to make for a crowd or for a table of 2. You can assemble it hours in advance and pop it into the fridge to sit until ready to bake. As guests chat away, it can bubble away in the oven–the juices it creates a welcome little sauce to the meat or fish it saddles up next to.

Heat oven to 375 degrees while you get things chopping. Cut up one sweet onion. On the stove top in a skillet, brown the onion with extra virgin olive oil. (Add the minced garlic a tad before the onions are done and cook for just a few minutes. Always careful not to overcook the garlic as it becomes bitter fast. You want sweet.) Once done, line the bottom of a baking dish with the sautéed onions and garlic. Add thyme that you pull off the buds and just sprinkle around and on top of your onions. This is the base. Fine that this cools a bit while you start chopping away.

Next, you want to choose Roma tomatoes, small Yukon gold potatoes and zucchini that are very similar in circumference. Cut each into quarter inch sizes. On top of the onions, start stacking the slices, alternating the 3 as you go. Once done, add a liberal sprinkling of salt over the top of things. A bit of pepper too. Add more thyme leaves over the lot as well. The herb is so mellow and really adds to the lusciousness of this dish. Finally add a few whole springs of the thyme to the dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake in your now hot oven for 45 minutes. 

Once the 45 minutes has passed, take out of oven, remove the foil and the whole thyme stems and discard. Add a generous, make that a super generous about of grated Gruyère cheese to the entire top of the dish. I take extra care to make sure the cheese has also fallen down the sides of the mixture. You really want all of this cheesy goodness spread everywhere once it is done. Put back into the oven uncovered, for another half hour so the cheese melts and the mixture finishes cooking. Trust me, you will be quite pleased with yourself. It is so darn good! The cooked and melted mixture of the onions/garlic with the potatoes and the tomatoes and the zucchini mixed with the herbaceous goodness of the thyme is really all quite something.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 206

When you make your next caprese salad, swap out the basil for mint. Just a fun, easy change that adds a bit of minty sweetness to the mix.



 

 

Roasted Tomatoes with Crumbled Feta

We were invited early Monday eve to sit on the beach while watching the sun go down with a glass of wine by new friends out on the island, Don & Betty. They also walked us around their abundant gardens and filled up bags of vegetables for us to take home. The above tomatoes part of the bounty of goodness and extreme generosity. We came back to WW and roasted them up super simply by dousing with extra virgin olive oil and a generous amount of sea salt in the oven at 400 just until they started releasing their juices, which becomes the sauce when combined with the oil. When done, toss with your favorite just cooked pasta and crumble feta over the top of it all. Truly could not be easier but it is just so darn good when tomatoes are falling off the vine fresh and plentiful. You could certainly add minced garlic to the tomatoes before they go into the oven. Chopped basil too. Fresh corn would be amazing, as well. But this supper we wanted the freshness of the tomatoes to be the star so they took center stage.



 

 

A Tomato Sandwich and a Glass of Rosé

That time of year again, and oh what a grand time of year it is. Tomato season! I can eat them daily and many times we do in so many ways. But the simplest is a tomato sandwich, on toasted bread, slathered in mayo with a heavy hand when salting the tomato. Heaven. Add a glass of rosé and a good book, and it might be one of my favorite August activities without breaking a sweat.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 151

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkling with extra virgin olive oil. Cut small tomatoes in half, lining them all up. Sprinkle salt over the lot as well as more olive oil. Add a few cut cloves of garlic here and there, as well as a few sprigs of thyme. Bake at 400 until the tomatoes begin to release some of their juices. Toss with pasta for an easy meal or top mixture to baguette slices for a quick snack.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 121

With Autumn in full bloom, if you get a gorgeous sunny day, grab it! Dine outside and soak up every last drop.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 119

Easiest simple supper. Scatter cherry tomatoes in a large baking dish, sprinkle heavily with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Crush and add a few cloves of garlic. Bake in a hot oven until tomatoes just pop open and release juices. Mix all with waiting hot pasta. 



 

 

August Tomatoes & Fresh Herbs

This is the time we wait for all Summer when the farm stands are brimming with fresh tomatoes in all sorts of colors, shapes & sizes. It is also when herbs are growing like weeds and you want to use them in every possible thing, in every possible way.

Slicing the tomatoes up and having them simply with sea salt is about as easy and satisfying as it gets. The purity & simplicity hard to beat. Then try tearing up tarragon with a splash of white wine vinegar for a twist. Or serve with mozzarella or burrata along with basil for a Caprese twist. Bathed in just the very best extra virgin olive oil is sublime as well as a heavy hand with the balsamic. However you chose to slice it, enjoying the heck out of them this time of the season is just pure joy.



 

 

Mini Caprese with Mint

We had guests last eve for dinner out on the island, plus we worked in the city for the day. Which meant it was a quick turnaround to getting the meal prepared after the ferry crossing and all. TPS whipped up a tasty & quick salmon and I assembled a Caprese. The twist is that I used mint (we have a big pot of it that is loving this warm weather and has gone crazy) instead of basil. It adds a sweetness to the dish, chopped up quite fine with a few larger leaves strewn about. Plus I used the small rounds of mozzarella, cutting them in half and the smallest cherry tomatoes we could find, cutting them in half too. A big glug of our favorite extra virgin olive oil and a healthy dusting of French sea salt. Done. An all-around ‘mini’ Caprese on a sunny, sunny August evening with friends.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 108

Often, simple is best. When tomatoes are looking great, a few salted slices atop a toasted piece of mayo slathered bread is all you need for a tasty lunch or snack.