Homegrown + Handmade
Recipes and musings from McKinnon and Harris Co-founder Anne Massie.
“Homegrown” is the essence of who we are and tomatoes recall our earliest roots, back to when we teamed up as a brother-sister farmhands duo for our first summer job. We raised 350 tomato plants (Better Boy was the favored hybrid back then) and almost 3 acres of Silver Queen corn one summer on our family farm. Previous job experience included a little time partnering on lemonade stands, but as “truck farmers,” we became a lot more field experienced and to this day consider ourselves to be the most discerning of tomato connoisseurs. In honor of our first summer job as a pair and to mark our 30th anniversary as McKinnon and Harris, we wanted to share two tried-and-true family recipes that are house (and garden!) favorites.
Brown Sugar Broiled Tomatoes
Family recipe from our mother, Anne Adams Robertson Massie, AWS, NWS
This dish feels like summer, though we serve it year-round.
YOU WILL NEED
Tomatoes, spring onions, brown sugar, bruschetta (our mom used Pepperidge Farm seasoned bread crumbs) & butter. And, a glass baking dish.
Take each tomato and slice off the top. Cut down into the tomato a little bit and take out a little of the core if it seems overly firm (this is typical of winter tomatoes, but you won't need to do this in the summer). I sometimes cut a little “X" into the top so I can push the ingredients down into the tomato.
Inside and also on top of the tomato, put a mixture of butter and spring onions, followed by broken up bruschetta & brown sugar. Top each tomato with a pat of butter.
Cook them at something like 350 degrees until you can see them soften up. Maybe 30-45 minutes or so.
Some of the ingredients spill out of the tomato into the pan (a glass baking dish with sides works nicely) and that is fine. If there is enough butter, it will make a really nice sauce as the tomato breaks down.
Great served with steamed rice and grilled chicken. Even better when eaten al fresco with friends & family!
Summer Tomato Pasta Sauce
A favorite recipe with several adaptations
A great summertime tomato dish as it requires minimal cooking. The “sauce” is uncooked. The only thing you cook is the pasta so the kitchen doesn’t get nearly as hot – it’s very kind to the cook! You can only make this in the summer as it is completely dependent on real summer tomatoes. Winter tomatoes just aren’t the same.
YOU WILL NEED
Fresh summer tomatoes, sea salt, fresh basil, good quality olive oil, kalamata olives (pitted), minced garlic, cracked black pepper, your choice of cheese, pasta.
Combine in a large deep bowl:
Choose your cheese to dial up or down how rich you want your sauce to be: Parmesan (rich), Feta (richer), Brie (richest). The cheese makes the sauce creamy. Tip for using Brie: put the Brie in the freezer for a short time to firm it up. You want to cut the rind off before using (don’t put rind in the bowl, throw rind away) and a little freezer time makes that part easier.
Let this mixture marinate for an hour or so.
Cook pasta until al dente and after draining, add hot pasta into the bowl with the mixture. Lots of pasta tossing will make sure the cheese melts nicely. Serve immediately and enjoy!