Joy the Baker

Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits

July 24, 2012

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I know what you’re thinking.  You really don’t even have to say it.  I put the words ‘tomato’ and ‘cobbler’ in the same recipe title.  Clearly something has gone wrong here.  How can it be cobbler without peaches, blueberries, strawberries… or maybe even some sort of salty bacon topping?  How can it be cobbler without crunchy oats and cinnamon?

Trust me… I definitely had my reservations when it came to this recipe.  I like tomatoes…. but how much do I reeaallly like tomatoes.  If I pick around all the big tomato chunks in my dad’s spaghetti sauce… does that mean this dish is going to stress me out?  Wait.  There are biscuits involved.  Do biscuits rescue any dish?  Yes.  They do.  … it’s go-time.

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These tomatoes are a big deal.  They’re juicy and sweet.  They’re amazing plain or roasted.  They’re just begging to be fussed over.  Really… they need no biscuit salvation.  They’re divine on their own.

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Tomatoes aren’t the only star of the show.  Fresh basil, loads of sliced garlic, and balsamic are also a big deal in this simple recipe.

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Beyond the sweet summer tomatoes, caramelized onions also play a leading role.  They add a very grounding element to the sweet acidity of the dish.  Luscious, I tell you.  Dang luscious.

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The seasoned herb, onion, and tomato mixture is tossed with a bit of flour that will act as a thickener.  Toss it in the oven for a bit of pre-roasting while the biscuits are made and shaped.  Your house will smell fantastic-o!

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Another day.  Another biscuit.

You know how it goes around here.

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This time around we’re adding buttermilk and blue cheese.

The cheese happens to be a Danish buttermilk blue cheese.  Swoon for real.

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Biscuit dough is lightly kneaded and shaped.

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And cut into perfectly imperfect circles.

I had a few extra biscuits that didn’t fit in the cobbler pan.  Those went in the freezer, unbaked, for future-brunch.

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Brush biscuits with buttermilk and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Get this goodness baking again!

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Golden brown biscuits and warm, bursting tomatoes.  If there were ever any doubt about the deliciousness of this recipe, about whether or not tomatoes could be substantial enough to carry a dish…. that all goes right out the window at this very moment.

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Call your friends… this dish is dang good.  It’s equal parts light and hearty.  It’s sweet and savory.  The blue cheese tang is out of this world in the tender biscuits.  This dish is ultimately satisfying.  This would be the perfect dish to bring to a summer potluck for a more substantial and hearty feel.  Who wants to bring the girl with the banana-heavy fruit salad?  No one wants to be that girl.  Step it up!

Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits

serves 6

inspired by Martha Stewart and the Clinton St Bakery Cookbook

Print this Recipe!

For the Biscuits:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

3 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold and cut into cubes

1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

3/4 cup cold buttermilk

For the Filling:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 large onions, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 pounds cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and coarsely ground black pepper

To make the Biscuits:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Add cold butter and shortening.  With your fingers, quickly break up the fat into the dry ingredients.  Rub the fats into the dry ingredients until well incorporated.  Some butter pieces will be the size of small peas, other will be the size of oat flakes.  Toss in blue cheese crumbles.  Stir to incorporate.

Create a small well in the center of the flour mixture.  Add buttermilk all at once.  With a fork, quickly bring together the wet and dry ingredients.  The dough will be rather shaggy.  Dump dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Knead dough about 10 times, bringing it together into a disk.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling is assembled.

To make the tomato Filling:

Add olive oil and butter to a medium saute pan over medium heat.  Add sliced onions and season with salt and pepper.  Cook and brown onions, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 18 to 20 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for one minute more.   Remove pan from heat, add balsamic vinegar and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together clean cherry tomatoes (no need to cut them), chopped basil, flour, and red pepper flakes.  Add caramelized onions and toss together until everything is lightly and evenly coated in flour.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour the tomato and onion filling into a square 8×8-inch baking dish.  Place in the oven and bake tomatoes filling for 25 minutes.

Remove the biscuit dough from the fridge.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll out biscuit dough into a 3/4 or 1-inch thickness.  Use a 1 1/2 to 2-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits.  Dip the cutter in flour should it get sticky.  Remove the partially cooked filling from the oven and carefully place 6 biscuits atop the tomato filling in the pan.  Brush biscuit tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Reshape and reroll excess biscuit dough to make extra biscuits at another time.  (The shaped biscuit dough freezes very well.)

Return warm filling and biscuit dough to oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through, and the tomato mixture is bubbling.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.  Tomato Cobbler is best served warm.  


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