The Vegetable Gardener's Cookbook

It’s a slip of a book as cookbooks go: a paperback with a mere 160 pages. But Danielle Majeika’s recipes open four seasons of opportunities for vegetable cookery and her tender photographs will set you on your way to the vegetable garden or farmers market. Right now, that’s just where you want to be.

Page Street Publishing. $21.99.

Tomato Cobbler with Gruyere Chive Biscuits

This savory cobbler makes a fine case for an easy summer dinner. While I’ve used cherry tomatoes here, feel free to substitute grape or plum tomatoes. The beauty is being able to use what’s available and transforming the flavors.

Ingredients

For the filling:

1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, diced

1/2 fennel bulb, finely diced

Pinch of kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

2 pounds cherry tomatoes, divided

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the topping:

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon finely minced chives

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

2/3 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing

Flaky salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and fennel with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper and cook for an additional minute. Add half of the cherry tomatoes and the brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes just begin to soften. Remove from the heat, and fold in the remaining tomatoes and the flour.

To make the topping, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter, and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to rub the mixture together until small clumps the size of peas form. Add the minced chives and Gruyere. Add the buttermilk, and gently mix with a fork until a sticky dough just forms.

Transfer the tomato mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Spoon the biscuit dough over the tomato filling, leaving spaces for the tomatoes to steam through. Brush the dough with additional buttermilk. Lightly sprinkle the biscuits with a few flakes of salt. Bake until golden and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Allow the cobbler to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Reprinted with permission from The Vegetable Gardener's Cookbook by Danielle Majeika, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Danielle Majeika.