This is a first course I served for a party with Ron White, the comedian, a few weeks ago.  I love summertime in California because of all the different varieties of produce, especially tomatoes.  I'm always looking for new ways to serve tomatoes either with texture, flavor, or presentation. But a lot of times I like to keep it very simple because the tomatoes have so much flavor on their own if you just add salt, pepper, and olive oil. With this recipe I think I managed to accomplish all of these things.  I had some wonderful yellow heirloom and tear drops from the garden.  I picked up some Indigo rose (new breed) and green zebras at the farmers market as well.  The indigo rose actually have the same antioxidants as blueberries.  They have a unique black outer skin on at least half of the tomato and they are quite delicious as well. Initially I was going to make a yellow tomato soup and place the raw tomatoes in it which you can do but it was a bit thick and the puree was good hot or room temperature. So I decided to use it as puree of tomatoes and place the raw tomatoes on top.


Yellow Tomato Puree

4 yellow heirloom tomatoes cut in 4 pieces

2 cups of yellow tear drop tomatoes

1 small yellow onion

5 garlic cloves

3 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 cup of water

5 tbsp of heavy cream

2 tbsp of butter

salt and pepper

1 red hierloom tomato sliced 1/4 inch thick (brandy wine or other breed)

6 indigo rose tomatoes quartered

2 green zebra tomatoes sliced

10 yellow tear drop tomatoes cut in half

15 mini basil leaves

3 tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven at 275 degrees

For the puree place all the yellow tomatoes, onions, and garlic in a large saute pan that is oven proof.  Drizzle with olive oil and season aggressively with salt.  Place in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes to an hour.  You want to roast the tomatoes slow so all the juice and sugar leach out.  Try not to brown any of the vegetables, that is why the temperature is low.  After the tomatoes are cooked and the pan is full of juice add the water and cream and place the pan on top of the stove.  Cook on medium high heat for about 5 minutes.  Place everything into the blender (vita mix) and puree until really smooth.  Add the butter while the blender is on.  You should be left with a smooth somewhat thick tomato puree.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and set aside.  I allowed it to cool to room temperature and that is how I served it.

For the tomatoes simply season with salt and pepper 20 minutes before you are going to serve them.  This allows the salt to penetrate the tomatoes and draw out some of the water and intensify the flavor.  To plate simple ladle the puree in the middle of the bowl and place the tomatoes on top of the puree.  Garnish with basil leaves and olive oil.  If I ever made this dish again I would add some shaved parmesan or your favorite cheese, a tiny drizzle of aged balsamic and maybe pine nuts for crunch.  Try it as a variation.