In an effort not to waste 10 tomatoes sitting on my counter from our CSA farm share, I made this dish for dinner this week. It was tasty, different, and it’s a great vegetarian option as well, even though I wasn’t intentionally cooking a vegetarian meal.
This “cobbler” would be a good dish to bring as a side for a potluck dinner or to a dinner party. I served it with a large portion of salad, because it’s almost too rich to be served in a main dish portion size.
The number one downside to this dish is the prep time to slice the onions and dice the tomatoes. If you can do that in advance, it’ll save you a good bit of time when you need to make the dish since it requires about an hour to cook after the prep work.
Prep Time: 40 min
Cook Time: 60 min
Tomato Onion Base
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 large onions, sliced thin
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 tbsp. brown sugar (optional – the caramelized onions are already sweet)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh oregano (for dried, use 1 tsp. covered in olive oil to reconstitute)
6 cups tomatoes, options:
Cherry tomatoes, whole
Diced tomatoes, seeded
Cheddar Biscuit Topping
¼ cup cornmeal
¾ cup flour
¼ cup cold butter (½ stick), cut into cubes
¼ cup sharp cheddar, shredded
½ cup milk
Preheat the oven to 400 .
Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter and let them heat up for a minute. Add onions, shallot, and brown sugar, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes until tender. Turn the heat to high and cook another 5-10 minutes until the onions get a nice browning to them. Remove from heat and stir in the minced garlic. Slowly add the vinegar while stirring the onions. Add in oregano and salt, stirring to combine. Move the onion mixture to a bowl and set aside.
Add the tomatoes to the same cast iron skillet (no need to clean the skillet from the onion mixture). Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Roast the tomatoes in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
While the tomatoes are cooking, make the biscuit topping. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal and flour. Add in the cubed butter. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is in pea-sized chunks. Biscuits get their flakiness from the chunky, cold butter melting very fast as the dough cooks, so it’s important to use cold butter and leave visible chunks throughout the dough. Stir in the cheese and milk until the dough comes together. Set the dough in the refrigerator.
Once the tomatoes have finished roasting, check the consistency. They should have a little liquid, but not to the point of being soupy. (The amount of liquid depends on the type and ripeness of the tomatoes used.) If it seems soupy, drain some of the liquid one spoonful at a time. Be careful not to drain all the liquid, as a good bit will cook out when the dish goes back into the oven later.
Add the onion mixture into the cooked tomatoes. Drop the biscuit dough, one spoonful at a time, on top of the onion and tomato base, creating 8-12 biscuits. Cook the assembled dish for 20 minutes in the same 400 degree oven.
Remove and cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.