“On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen"
A highly regarded Cali chef, vegetable whisperer Jeremy Fox has written a cookbook that delivers 85 vegetarian recipes, both sweet and savory, plus an additional foundation of 75 larder recipes. His combinations may surprise, such as the dish of figs, celery, almonds, and pickled grapes. You may want to wait for fall to make carrot juice cavatelli, tops salsa, and spiced pulp crumble. But take it on faith that you will be glad you discovered his food. Just in time for the onset of sultry summer evenings and the peak of the local tomato season, Fox us offers a “tomato raw bar.” How divine. Phaidon. $49.95.
Tomato Raw Bar
“A tomato raw bar — which is a bit loose as far as recipes go and asks for a little creativity on your end — is a fun way to serve tomatoes while highlighting their delicious simplicity.”
2 pounds tomatoes, many varieties, cored
1 pound burrata cheese
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt
Cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons saba (see cook's note)
Basil leaves, for garnish
Cook's note: A type of “vin cotto,” or cooked wine, saba is made from Trebbiano or Lambrusco grapes thinned from the vines before harvest. The method of slowly heating freshly pressed grape juice, or must, so as not to burn its sugars dates back to the Roman era. Saba is usually found in specialty Italian groceries, but a number of online retailers carry the condiment.
Cut the tomatoes into various shapes and sizes — have fun with it. You can even take an apple corer and cut out some funky little tube shapes.
Divide the tomatoes across plates and place a generous dollop of burrata alongside. Drizzle with olive oil and season with flaky sea salt and cracked pepper. To finish, garnish with the saba and basil.