I know this blog is supposed to be about taking recipes and customizing them and cooking by feel, but sometimes, recipes don’t really need my help. And that’s how I feel about this cherry tomato cobbler with gruyere biscuits. Blistered, gooey tomatoes, deeply browned onions, and cheesy, creamy, dumpling-y biscuits? There’s no reason to mess with that.
The second I spotted this recipe in a borrowed issue of Martha Stewart Living, it moved to the top of my to-make list — but tomatoes took a frustratingly long time to ripen this summer. Last week, though, I spotted a few big troughs at a farmer’s market stand for $1/pound, and I hoovered up three bags as fast before the word “tomatoes!” was even out of my mouth.
Martha recommends baking this in a 2-quart, 2-inch deep baking dish, but I actually wish I’d put it in something bigger; it bubbled over a bit in the oven (stick a cookie sheet under the baking dish if you have any worries; it saved me a ton fo cleanup), and I had a lot of biscuit dough left over. Well, “left over” is an interesting way to put it; can you ever really complain about extra biscuits?
If I had to offer one tip on this recipe, it’s this: Don’t cut the onion cooking time short. I almost always think recipes overestimate the time needed to cook onions, but this time, the 25 minute sautee means these onions are rich and caramelized by the time they go into the oven. I’m not sure my kitchen has ever smelled better.
Cherry Tomato Cobbler
(from Martha Stewart Living)
For the filling:
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 pounds cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used my favorite Aleppo)
1-2 teaspoons salt
For the biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (recipe suggests coarse: I split between regular and fleur de sel)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Cook the onions over medium heat for 25 minutes or until nicely browned. Add garlic and cook for 3 more minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees while you make the biscuit topping
3. Make the biscuits: combine flour, baking powder, and a teaspoon of salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until small clumps form (it should feel somewhat sandy). Stir in the cheese and the cream. (Martha suggests using a fork, but I needed a spatula.)
4. In a baking dish, combine tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of flour, red pepper flakes, salt (to taste, but about a teaspoon) and pepper
5. Spoon clumps of biscuit dough over the top of the tomato mixture; you should be able to squeeze 6-8 dumplings in there. Brush the tops of the biscuits with cream and sprinkle with cheese.
6. Bake until the tomatoes are bubbling and biscuits are brown, about an hour and 10 minutes. Let cool slightly before digging in.
If you have extra biscuit dough, you can bake it separately on another baking sheet. The biscuits will be a little crispier than the ones in the cobbler, but they’re delicious in their own right. Mine took about 45 minutes to bake, so set a second timer and keep an eye on them.