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Late Summer Meal

Onion Bruschetta and Cherry Tomato Pasta

Caramelize some onions in butter. Do what you like with them, or keep them around for the bruschetta. Caramelized onions are good for so many things and are delicious in their own right. Do not clean the pan that you caramelized the onions in. Be sure to remove only the onions themselves, leaving as much of the butter as possible behind in the pan.

Cut 3 -4 slices of baguette, or maybe a small Italian loaf or something similar. The baguette makes small enough slices that you can fit all of them in the pan at once. Heat the pan (or it’s still hot from the onions), lay the bread slices in the melted onion butter, flip them so that each side gets coated in butter. Let the slices crisp until slightly browned. Serve as is, or with caramelized onion piled on. Makes a wonderful accompaniment to a good late summer drink like the Rosita.This bruschetta tastes like more.

Cherry tomato pasta: I ended up with an impulse buy of a pint of mixed cherry tomatoes from the farmers’ market – some red ones and a smattering of orange and yellow, but mostly dark green, near purple. Taste tests revealed less sweetness and more bitterness in this crop of late summer tomatoes, so I opted for pan cooking over a raw application.

I started the pan with some olive oil and four very small garlic cloves, slightly crushed. Heated oil and garlic to let the oil infuse with garlic flavor. Then added in the tomatoes that seemed least ripe, the larger ones halved while the smallest ones remained whole. After a few minutes of sizzling the tomatoes, I turned the heat down to medium and added the other larger tomatoes, reserving the very smallest ones for later. The tomatoes were salted a bit, and also got a small amount of sugar. Toss that in the heat a bit, then add the rest of tomatoes, let cook a bit, add sherry vinegar.

Up the heat so that the tomato-sherry vinegar sauce can reduce. Keep stirring and reducing. After a few minutes, heat low, finish tomatoes off with a few grinds of smoked pepper and grated Parmesan. Serve over angel hair or thin spaghetti, with more Parmesan if desired – I always do. If I had had some basil, that would have gone in as well, but I was out. The tomatoes had a nice mellow sweetness with just a hint of tartness from the sherry vinegar to brighten their colors. A nice transition from summer to the warm fall we’re having.


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