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we lov e


h s T e r o f m n ed atoe



Greetings, friends!


Every summer for as long as I can remember, my dad planted a full third of our yard in Fairfield with a tremendous kitchen garden of tomato and pepper plants – and planted a love for veggie gardening in my heart! My kitchen garden at Connecticut Country House is what it is because of dear papa… and what it is right now is full of tomatoes—yay! It’s tomato season! I wait for this all year. There’s nothing like the taste of perfectly ripe tomatoes fresh off the vine, except maybe coming up with different ways to enjoy them! We have recipes that barely call for more than slicing a tomato and plating it up with something yummy, and recipes that end with tomatoes roasted and dried. I’ve never met a tomato I didn’t love, and I love how each recipe changes the flavor of this sweet summer treat! No garden? No worries. Farmers’ markets and even grocery stores are spilling over with local harvests this time of year. Enjoy these last few weeks of summer – and in the spirit of tomato season, here are a handful of my very favorite recipes. Love,

NORA MURPHY Founder and Editor in Chief



Contents Garlic Roasted Garden Tomatoes 8 Murph’s Grilled Pizza 13 Bruschetta with Pesto 16 Squid Ink Linguine Aglio e Olio with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes 21 Blackened Corn Garden Salsa 27 Rosa’s Guacamole 30 Caprese Salad 35 Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Carmelized Onion Galette 38 Country House Oven-Dried Garden Tomatoes 43 Gazpacho Mash-Up 46 Classic American Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato 50 Bridget’s Savory Skewers 55 Country House Oven-Roasted Tomato Spread 59

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Nora Murphy Founder and Editor in Chief Carol Hubner Art and Features Director Deborah Golden Copywriter/Copy Editor Criana Web Producer Nora, Rick & Conor Murphy Gardening Team Darryl Arbesman Duanne Simon Nora Murphy Contributing Photographers All design, photography, and copy on is original, produced year-round at Connecticut Country House and on location.





Garlic Roasted Garden Tomatoes 4 medium to large tomatoes (garden fresh, if you have them!) 1 large garlic clove, finely minced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Position a rack in the top half of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and and lightly coat with cooking spray. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and place all eight halves cut side up on the pan. Scatter ¼ teaspoon of garlic evenly over each tomato. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and a healthy pinch of breadcrumbs to each toma­to. Top each with dots of butter. Bake the tomatoes for approximately 45 minutes. Depend­ing on your oven and the size of the tomatoes, they may need up to an additional 15 minutes. They should be reduced in height by about half and the skin on the sides should appear loose. When the tomatoes look ready, set the oven to broil and watch closely for 2 to 3 minutes. You want nicely browned tops, so don’t let them burn! Serve immediately and enjoy! (You can also download this recipe here.)








Murph’s Grilled Pizza Large ball of pizza dough (store bought or homemade), room temperature 4 to 5 tablespoons loose cornmeal ¼ cup olive oil (for extra flavor, simmer with a few garlic cloves) 1 very ripe large tomato, thinly sliced 1 pound good mozzarella, grated or thinly sliced A handful of fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a gas grill to medium-high, leave covered. Cut the dough in half. Spread 2 tablespoons of cornmeal on your work sur­face. Flatten out each half of dough with the heels of your hands. With a rolling pin, roll the dough from the center out to the edge, repeating from several angles. It may be a bit of a workout, especially if the dough hasn’t warmed up enough. Your goal is to have two rolled-out pizza crusts about 12 to 14 inches in diameter.

Place one crust onto a cookie sheet. Brush the top with olive oil. Open the grill lid, turn the center burner off and adjust the outer burners to low. Grab the dough by the edges and place the oiled side down on the center of the grill. Use tongs to adjust any dough that may have bunched. Close the cover of the grill. Using tongs, check the underside of your dough every 2 minutes or so—on our grill, it takes 4 to 5 minutes for the dough to get to a nice golden brown. When the underside of your pizza is done, oil the top and flip it with your tongs. Now, quickly add the toppings in this order: tomatoes, cheese, basil. Rule of thumb: sparse is better. Not every square inch of the pizza must have every topping. Close the top of the grill. Check after 3 or 4 minutes, and occasionally after that. With a center burner off and the outer burners on low, it will take about 10 minutes for the pizza to come out perfectly. Using a large spatula or tongs, remove the pizza from the grill and place it onto a wood cut­ting board. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. One of my favorite recipes because a few excellent, very fresh ingredients are allowed to speak for themselves. Keep it simple! (You can also download this recipe here.)






Bruschetta with Pesto 1 fresh baguette, cut into 1" slices ¼ cup olive oil ½ cup fresh pesto (recipe follows) 2 large garden tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped Sea salt

Heat the oven to 400°F. Place the baguette slices on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Brush the tops lightly with olive oil, and place in the oven.

Quickly, before the bread cools too much, spoon a tablespoon or so of the tomatoes onto each slice. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on each (we used smoked sea salt). Serve immediately. Pesto: ½ cup pignoli (pine) nuts 3 large garlic cloves 4 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed

After 5 minutes, turn the oven up to broil, and toast the bread, leaving the oven door ajar. This happens quickly, so stay by the oven and watch closely.

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

When the bread is golden brown, pull out the cookie sheet and carefully spread a teaspoon of pesto on top of each slice of bread.

In a food processor, chop the nuts and garlic until fine. Add the basil and let it go until a semi-smooth paste forms. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil and keep processing until smooth. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse to incorporate. If the consistency is too thick, drizzle in a little more olive oil and pulse again.

Slip the cookie sheet back in the oven, which should still be on broil. Again, watch closely, and as soon as the pesto starts to bubble 1 to 2 minutes, remove the cookie sheet from oven.

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

(You can also download this recipe here.)








Squid Ink Linguine Aglio e Olio with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes 1 pound of squid ink linguine (you may substitute traditional pasta if desired) Âź cup olive oil 2 or 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped 12 or more cherry tomatoes, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Grated Parmesan to taste (optional)

Fill a large pasta pot with water, add a healthy pinch of kosher salt, and bring the water to a full rolling boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat until it just starts to shimmer, then add the garlic. Stir frequently. Remove from heat when the garlic is light brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Preheat your grill to a high heat. Skewer your tomatoes on wooden or metal skewers, oil liberally, and salt lightly. Place the tomato skewers directly on the grill,

using tongs to turn them every minute or two. Do not overcook, as these little beauties will turn to mush and fall off of the skewers. When the skin is lightly blistered, remove the skewers from heat and set them aside. (Note: You can blister the tomatoes under a broiler if you don’t have a grill.) When the water is at a full boil, add the linguine. Follow the package instructions to cook the pasta to the desired doneness, stirring regularly to keep it from sticking together. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot, not over heat this time; add the garlic and oil, combining well with two large wooden spoons. Drop the tomatoes on top, and sprinkle on salt, pepper, and Parmesan to taste. Enjoy! (You can also download this recipe here.)










Blackened Corn Garden Salsa 6 medium tomatoes (from the garden or farmstand — the fresher the better!) 1 large yellow bell pepper, halved and seeded 1 large green bell pepper, halved and seeded 2 ears of the freshest sweet corn, shucked ½ bunch of cilantro Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded 1 small can of tomato paste

Steam the tomatoes in 1" of water in a covered pot for one minute, run under cold water, and peel off the skins. Quarter the tomatoes, and scoop out all the watery pockets of seeds. Reserve the cleaned tomatoes. Lightly oil one half of each bell pepper (set the other halves aside for now). Heat your grill to medium-high and place the oiled peppers and both ears of corn on the grill. Turn the vegetables every few minutes until they’re slightly blackened and well roasted.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, place the ears upright on a cutting board and, using a sharp paring knife, remove the kernels and reserve. Add the roasted and raw peppers, the corn kernels, the cilantro, and a teaspoon or so of salt and pepper to the bowl of a large food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Add the tomatoes and half of one jalapeño, and pulse again several times. Taste for salt, pepper, and heat. Add half a jalapeno at a time, pulse, and taste, until you reach the desired level of heat. If the salsa seems too watery, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and pulse again. *Note: Take care when handling hot peppers. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching them and always keep your fingers away from your eyes. If your skin is especially sensitive, pull on a pair of inexpensive nitrile or latex gloves for protection. (You can also download this recipe here.)






Rosa’s Guacamole (Adapted from the tableside preparation at Rosa Mexicano, NYC) Kosher salt ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced 2 ripe avocados 6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, diced ¾ cup finely chopped red onion

Place a healthy pinch of kosher salt in your lava bowl (molcajete) or mortar bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and 1 teaspoon of the minced jalapeño. Using the bowl’s pestle or the side of a wooden spoon in a circular motion, grind the ingredients together well. Now your bowl is seasoned and you are ready to continue. Insert a paring knife into the avocado until the tip hits the pit inside. Gently slide the knife around the avocado from end to end and around to the other side. If done properly, one twist will provide you with two neat halves. To re­move the slippery pit, simply (and carefully) tap a sharp kitchen knife into the center of the pit, twist, and pull up. Tap the knife on a cutting board, and the pit will pop right off. Repeat with the other avocado. Now, with the paring knife, gently score the avocado halves into a ¼-inch checkerboard pattern (be careful not to cut through the avocado skin—your hand is under there!). Scoop the diced avocado into the lava bowl. Add the remaining ingredients—you might want to reserve some of the jalapeño until you check the heat level. Mix well, but don’t overdo it. This recipe is meant to be chunky. Taste, and adjust salt and spice levels. Serve it up in the lava bowl—we like it with a mix of yellow and blue corn chips. (You can also download this recipe here.)








Caprese Salad Tomatoes (heirloom, if you have them!) Fresh smoked mozzarella Fresh basil Olive oil Balsamic vinegar Kosher salt

Slice the tomatoes and the cheese into slices of roughly the same thickness. Arrange the tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella on a dinner plate/platter. Drizzle with the amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar you prefer. Sprinkle with salt and serve. (You can also download this recipe here.)






Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Carmelized Onion Galette 3 medium tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick 1 medium red onion, sliced ¼ inch thick 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (I use Pepperidge Farm), thawed 4 ounces soft goat cheese, room temperature ½ cup Asiago cheese, shaved 3 or 4 basil leaves, julienned Kosher salt Fresh ground black pepper

Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and lay out the tomato slices. Lightly sprinkle them with kosher salt. Flip over and repeat. Let the tomatoes sit and drain for about 30 minutes. Heat the oil in a skillet, add the onions, and saute until they’re softened and lightly browned.


Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and place it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. With a rolling pin, gently roll over puff pastry to spread the edges just a little thinner. Leaving about an inch from the outside edge, spread the goat cheese evenly over the pastry dough. If you love goat cheese like we do, use it all! If you’d prefer a lighter touch, it’s still delicious with only half. Sprinkle the goat cheese with half of the Asiago and scatter the sauteed onions on top. Pat the tomato slices dry with a fresh paper towel, then layer them on top of the onions. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the rest of the Asiago. Roll the edges of the pastry toward the filling, pinching a bit as you go. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Cool slightly, top with the basil, and serve. (You can also download this recipe here.)







Country House Oven-Dried Garden Tomatoes Several pounds tomatoes of any size, washed and dried Olive oil Kosher salt

Heat the oven to 250°F. Halve cherry and similar sized tomatoes; quarter larger tomatoes. Line rimmed sheet pans with aluminum foil; grease with a bit of olive oil. Place tomatoes skin side down on the prepared pans. If you’re using tomatoes of different sizes, group like-sized tomatoes together, using separate pans if needed. (Cooking times will vary according to size, and this will make the process easier.) Sprinkle with kosher salt and place sheets in the heated oven. Check on the progress hourly and, as they get closer to doneness, every 30 minutes. Smaller tomatoes, like cherry or grape, will be done first. They’re done when reduced in volume by about half, the skin looks a bit leathery, and the inside still has some juice. Depending on your oven, the process can take from three to six hours, but it’s worth it. (You can also download this recipe here.)






Gazpacho Mash-Up (Adapted from Craig Claiborne’s The New New York Times Cookbook) 2 large tomatoes, cored, peeled, and quartered 1 green pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered 1 small garlic clove (optional) 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes ½ jalapeño pepper, split and seeds removed (optional) ¼ cup fresh cilantro 12 or so fresh basil leaves 3 cups tomato juice 1/3 cup red wine vinegar ¼ cup olive oil ¾ cup chicken broth Tabasco, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste Optional garnish: diced scallion, garlic croutons, sour cream


Put the tomatoes, green pepper, onion, garlic, cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, and basil in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the tomato juice and blend again—you may have to do this in batches depending on the capacity of your machine. Add the vinegar, olive oil, and broth, and pulse a few times to combine. Taste, season with tabasco, salt, and pepper, and taste again. Pro tip: Season gradually— you can always add a little more, but you can’t take it out! Garnish as you like and serve ice-cold in chilled bowls on the hottest day. (You can also download this recipe here.)






Classic American Bacon, Lettuce &Tomato 2 slices of country bread, lightly toasted 2 tablespoons of mayo 2 lettuce leaves 1 tomato cut Ÿ-½ inch slices 1 or 2 slices of smoked bacon, cooked crisp Pinch of kosher salt

Lightly toast the slices of bread. Slather a tablespoon of mayo on each slice. Now start layering: a leaf of lettuce; the tomatoes, sprinkled with salt; the bacon; another leaf of lettuce; and the other slice of bread. Cut in half and skewer with a toothpick to keep this delicious bite together! (You can also download this recipe here.)








Bridget’s Savory Skewers (This recipe makes approximately 50 skewers) 2 to 3 bunches of fresh basil 3 quarts yellow cherry tomatoes 3 quarts red cherry tomatoes 3 pounds marinated mozzarella balls 50 wooden skewers

Remove the basil leaves from their stems. If they’re large, cut them in half; if they’re small, you can use them as they are. Choose a pattern/combination of ingredients to your liking and organize them for easy assembly. For a great presentation, it’s key to be consistent with the ingredient order. Each skewer should look the same. To start, poke a skewer down through the top of the first piece of veggie, and pull the veggie to a point about 2 inches from the top of the skewer. Add your next ingredient and repeat. (You can also download this recipe here.)







Country House Oven-Roasted Tomato Spread Makes about 2 cups.

Heat the oven to 375°F.

2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil and set it aside.

1 large red onion cut into chunks 4 or 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt Asiago cheese, shaved – optional but fabulous!

Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and olive oil in a large bowl. Spread evenly on the prepared sheet pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables start to lightly brown. I like to check on things after about 15 minutes. If some vege­tables are browning faster than others, I flip them. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool. Scoop the mixture into the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse two or three times, until the vegetables resemble chunky salsa. Serve on fresh, crusty bread. For an extra treat, top it with a shaving of Asiago cheese. (You can also download this recipe here.)







“When I eat a tomato I look at it the way anyone else would. But when I paint a tomato, then I see it differently.� Henri Matisse

N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N T RY H O U S E . C O M

Nora Murphy Country House Late Summer 2017 magazine  

The Delicious Art of Tomatoes. Like my garden, the latest issue of Nora Murphy Country House is full of my favorite late summer treat: fresh...

Nora Murphy Country House Late Summer 2017 magazine  

The Delicious Art of Tomatoes. Like my garden, the latest issue of Nora Murphy Country House is full of my favorite late summer treat: fresh...