TND – August 19th . . . . A Variation on a Classic

September 16, 2014

mozzarella header

Dinner – August 19th . . . . A Variation on a Classic
Late Summer Tomato Soup
(baked) Mozzarella Sticks
Braised Garlic Bread

Late Summer Tomato Soup
(serves 4-6)

This is a soup you only make at the end of the summer when you are drowning in tomatoes, or can find tomatoes at the farmer’s market for about $2/lb.  This is not something you make with $5/lb early season tomatoes, and seriously don’t bother trying to make it with anything out of season.  There are other tomato soup recipes out there for out of season/canned tomatoes.  There is nothing in this except tomatoes, so you really need to start with something good.


6 lb tomatoes, divided
9 cloves garlic, divided
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
1 cup basil

Preheat oven to 450.

Core and quarter (or sixth, depending on the size of your tomatoes) 5lb of tomatoes.  Combine the tomatoes, 8 whole cloves of garlic, the chopped onions, olive oil, salt and sugar in a large baking pan (not a sheet pan – this needs high sides, it’s going to get soupy).  Roast for 60-90 minutes, or until the tomatoes have broken down and started to char.  Transfer to a blender (or a pot & use an immersion blender) and puree until smooth.  You may need to add up to a cup of water to thin down the soup.  Base can be made a day in advance.

Chop the remaining 1 lb of tomatoes into a medium dice.  Finely mince the remaining clove of garlic.  Chop the basil.  Combine the tomatoes, garlic, and basil in a bowl and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

Add to the soup and cook for 5 minutes to heat through (but not more than that, you want the fresh taste of the tomatoes to come through).


Baked Mozzarella Sticks

mozzarella sticks

12 sticks string cheese
1 cup flour
1 egg white
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 Tbsp grated parmesan
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp sugar
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ tsp dried oregano
½ dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme

Cut the string cheese sticks in half.  Freeze.

Whisk an egg white with a little water.

Mix together the dried bread crumbs with the parmesan, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and sugar (or just get Italian seasoned breadcrumbs).

Toast the panko in a little olive oil.  Mix together the toasted panko with the dried oregano, basil and thyme.  Add about a ¼ cup of the seasoned dry breadcrumbs to the panko and toss to mix.

Take the frozen cheese sticks and roll them in flour.  Dip in the egg wash and then into the dry bread crumbs.  Dip back in the egg wash, and then into the panko bread crumbs.

Place on a greased baking sheet.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400-425.  Spray the mozzarella sticks with a little olive oil or cooking spray.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is gooey and the breading is crispy.

Braised Garlic Bread

Recipe previously given: 3 Weeks Ago . . . Or, Dear Food & Wine

braised bread


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