July 24, 2020

it's all about those summer tomatoes!

Happy Friday! Today I’m sharing another peek at the current issue of Cottages & Bungalows. This article called “The Right Stuff” features my good friend Laura’s beautifully updated kitchen. 

This kitchen was brightened to fit in with 21st century living, and I just fell in love with it the moment I walked into her house. 

Styling this kitchen was just as easy as pie, and we chose to follow the theme of preparing a casual meal with fresh veggies and herbs from the garden. 

Laura’s an enthusiastic cook, and we share so many recipes with each other. We both love fresh garden tomatoes, and as you can see, there are beautiful heirloom tomatoes in just about every shot, except the one with the bar cart, haha. 

A basket full of tomatoes here, and a cute green pie plate filled with summer’s bounty there... in my mind, it’s all about the tomatoes when styling this adorable kitchen, as you can see from my behind-the-scenes photos! 

And, why not!? It’s such a natural fit for this kitchen. So, included in today’s post I’m sharing three of Laura’s favorite tomato recipes. 

Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta 

Serves 6-8

6 ounces good feta, crumbled 
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 
2/3 cup good olive oil, divided 
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
2 tablespoons minced shallots (2 shallots) 
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves) 
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar 
2 pounds ripe heirloom or cherry tomatoes, ½-inch-diced 
3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving 
20 to 25 (½-inch-thick) diagonal baguette slices, toasted 
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts 

For the whipped feta, place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the cheeses are mixed. Add 1/3 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.

For the tomatoes, up to an hour before you’re serving, combine the shallots, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the tomatoes, stir gently, and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and taste for seasonings. 

To assemble the crostini, spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place the tomatoes on top. Put the crostini on plates and scatter with the pine nuts. Sprinkle with extra basil and serve. 

Copyright 2012, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten 

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup 

6 servings

4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes 
1 chopped medium onion  
3 cloves of garlic 
2 cups chicken stock 
2 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon salt 
½ teaspoon pepper 

In a stockpot, over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and gently boil for about 20 minutes to blend all of the flavors. Remove from heat and run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl, or pan. Discard any stuff left over in the food mill. 

In the now empty stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking until the roux is a medium brown. Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust to taste. 

© Copyright 2020 allrecipes.com. 

Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce 

4 servings - Cooking time: 40 minutes 

1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes or other small tomatoes on the vine 
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence 
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more 
Freshly ground black pepper 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts 
1 small shallot, minced 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves 
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves 

Preheat oven to 450°. Combine tomatoes, 2 Tbsp. oil, and herbes de Provence in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet until oil shimmers. Carefully add tomatoes to pan (oil may spatter). Transfer skillet to oven and roast, turning once, until tomatoes burst and give up some of their juices, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and drizzle with Worcestershire sauce. 

Meanwhile, season chicken all over with 1 tsp. salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken on both sides until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and roast chicken until cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes. 

Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to same skillet; heat over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze pan with vinegar, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan; add tomatoes and their juices and simmer until sauce is just beginning to thicken, about 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. 

Slice chicken; divide among plates. Spoon tomatoes and sauce over; garnish with herbs. 

Recipe by Soa Davies for Bon Appetit, photo by Romulo Yanes 

We photographed Laura’s entire home last August, and the backyard entertaining spaces were featured in the last issue of Cottages & Bungalows. Make sure you pick up a copy so you can read the whole article, and you can also check out the other two projects I styled. 

The editors ended up spreading the love of this photo shoot into three issues, with the upcoming Fall issue featuring the fun backyard fire pit area. I can’t wait to see it! 

Enjoy the weekend... 


 ciao! fabiana 

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