Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits

Hello, blog friends! It’s been 8 days since I last posted here, and I can’t remember the last time I took such a long break. Things have just been NONSTOP lately, with a lot of unfortunate issues arising, a bachelorette party I hosted passing, and then the whole day (4am to midnight) in NYC for work yesterday. To be perfectly honest, I’m barely holding my head above water, but these trying times always have an end right? And nothing makes me feel better than doing what I love – baking, cooking, writing, blogging, sharing. So here we are!

Admittedly, I haven’t been in the kitchen nearly enough lately – this cobbler is actually from my last trip home to see my family. My mom has an insanely effective green thumb, and each summer brings a wonderful bounty, highlighted predominantly by her beautiful tomatoes. She grows a variety of tomatoes, including several heirloom varieties, cherry varieties, and roma tomatoes. For this recipe, we used her cherry tomatoes, and they worked out great. Paired with these ridiculously tasty biscuits, and slowly caramelized onions, this dish was an absolute home run. Seriously – incredible.

I’d never considered making a savory cobbler before, but what a great idea! In the summer when you have a surplus of tomatoes, it’s pretty much necessary to find new ways to incorporate them into inventive and fun new dishes. The biscuits here are extra buttery, so tender and flaky with just the slightest hint of blue cheese. Darn GOOD. I can see using the biscuit recipe as a base for a lot of other recipes – both sweet and savory. This dish is also studded with caramelized onions, which adds another element of depth and deliciousness to this recipe. It really elevates tomatoes to a whole new level, highlighting their sweet, fresh flavor, and doing them the justice that they deserve.

Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits
adapted from Joy The Baker

Biscuit Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
3/4 cup cold buttermilk

Filling Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 pounds cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and coarsely ground black pepper

For the biscuits: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Add cold butter, and with your fingers, quickly break up the butter into the dry ingredients. Continue to rub the butter into the flour mixture until you have pea sized pieces. Toss in blue cheese crumbles, and mix to incorporate.

Create a small well in the center of the flour mixture. Add buttermilk and with a fork, quickly mix together the wet and dry ingredients.  The dough will be rather messy. Dump dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead dough about 10 times until all the little pieces are incorporated. Shape into a disk, and wrap dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the filling is prepared.

For the filling: Add olive oil and butter to a saute pan over medium heat. Add sliced onions and season with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat until onions start to brown and become soft, stirring occasionally – about 18 to 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute, then remove pan from heat, add balsamic vinegar and set aside.

Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together clean whole cherry tomatoes, chopped basil, flour, and red pepper flakes.  Add caramelized onions and toss together until everything is lightly and evenly coated in flour.  Season with salt and pepper. Pour the tomato and onion filling into a square 8×8-inch baking dish. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the biscuit dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out biscuit dough into a 3/4 or 1-inch thickness.  Use a 1 1/2 to 2-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits, and dip it in flour if it becomes sticky. You can re-roll the biscuit dough once to cut out more biscuits, so that you have enough to cover the tomato filling.

Remove the partially cooked filling from the oven and carefully place 6-8 biscuits atop the tomato filling in the pan. If you’d like to reserve some biscuits, this dough freezes well. (We just cooked up the biscuits alonside the cobbler, and ate them plain!) Brush biscuit tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return pan to the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes more, until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through, and the tomato mixture is bubbling.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.  This dish is best served warm.

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