Despite it being officially September, we still have lots to celebrate – specifically September Long Weekend, local tomato season, and the arrival of Flamingo Estate’s Single Farm Extra Virgin Olive Oil to our shop, to name a few.
And before you judge us for celebrating olive oil, you’ve got to give Flamingo Estate a try. Seriously, this stuff is so good that we want to drink it with a straw. The olives are grown by the Brosius family, at their farm on the California coast. Doesn’t that sound dreamy? The sun-soaked hills of Paso Robles makes for an amazing herbaceous taste that is unreplicatable. The family then hand-picks the olives at their most-ripe and processes them in the evening of the same day to keep all the flavours and freshness, and create a kitchen essential that is truly a work of art. Or rather, a work of art that we want to pour over absolutely everything we eat.
To inspire you to celebrate olive oil the way that we celebrate olive oil, we’ve partnered up with Noods + Balls to create three amazing (and simple!) recipes to highlight this liquid gold and take advantage of the delicious local tomatoes our gardens are overflowing with.
Give them a try, and make sure to let us know what you think on the ‘gram.
PAN CON TOMATE (TOMATO TOAST)
This is by far one of our favourite things to eat, ever. It’s always good, even when it’s hard to find good tomatoes. When it’s tomato season, we could eat this every day. It’s also so simple that you can whip it up for friends and blow their minds with almost no effort.
As for topping suggestions that take your pan over the edge of deliciousness: we like to top ours with a few lovely anchovies, bonus points for boquerones. You could also top with some fresh mozzarella or burrata, drape some morty d (mortadella) overtop, or just omit toppings cause it’s still SO GOOD on it’s own. As mentioned, this recipe is so simple that it’s really important to source the best versions of all the ingredients here because there are so few.
½ loaf sourdough bread
Turn on your grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a grill, you can toast the bread in a 400 degree oven instead.
Slice the sourdough into ¾ inch slices. Lay on a sheet pan and drizzle both sides generously with olive oil. If toasting in the oven, bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. If grilling, add to the grill and continue turning/flipping until lightly charred and toasted. A few dark spots are good! You want it pretty toasty since we’re topping it with something juicy.
While the bread is toasting, grate your tomato on the large side of a box grater into a medium bowl. The pulp should collect and the skin naturally separates. Discard the skin, and season the bowl with salt.
When the bread is done toasting, rub each piece 3-4 times with the garlic clove. You want to do this when the bread is still fairly warm, it will melt the garlic into the bread and take on a light garlic vibe. Next, spoon the grated tomatoes over each piece of bread, covering the entire top of the slice. Drizzle generously with more olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Add desired toppings and enjoy!
MARINATED TOMATO PASTA
This pasta is the epitome of summer dining if you ask us. It’s dead easy, will impress your friends, is vegetarian, and very delicious. We first made this recipe from one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks, the queen of easy entertaining. The most effort you will put in is boiling your noods.
Serves 4 adults.
INGREDIENTS:4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
4-6 cloves garlic
Two handfuls of fresh basil
1 ½ cups finely chopped parmesan cheese
½ cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 lb dried angel hair or capellini pasta (or another noodle of your choosing)
Get your halved cherry tomatoes into a big bowl. Very finely chop or microplane your garlic cloves and add to tomatoes; add as much as you would like depending on how much you like garlic or whether or not you’ll be kissing someone later in the evening. Next, stack your basil leaves in a pile, roll them up like a cigar, and chop crosswise into fine ribbons (this is called a chiffonade and will make you sound fancy). Add basil to the tomato bowl with about a ½ cup of olive oil. Stir to combine and coat everything, season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and let this mixture sit at room temperature for about 4 hours.
Just before you’re ready to serve, bring a large pot of (generously) salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente according to the package directions, be advised, angel hair doesn’t take long! Drain the pasta well and add to the bowl with cherry tomatoes. Throw in your chopped parm and some more fresh basil leaves and toss well. Serve in bowls with extra cheese and a good drizzle of olive oil.
We call this salad a celebration of tomatoes, our favorite things to eat on earth. We wait all year for tomato season, and bonus if you can find gorgeous heirloom tomatoes! This salad uses them in all forms to really showcase this amazing fruit; raw and grated in the dressing, chopped in the salad, and roasted. You can really throw in any seasonal veg with the roasted tomatoes – we have a preference for green beans.
We used to think this salad of “old bread” was a weird concept, until it evolved into this version. This is also one of those times to break out the good olive oil, since we’re consuming it raw in the dressing and drizzled on top.
We love to eat this salad all on its own for dinner, or with a few grilled sausages sliced up.
Serves two very hungry people as a main, and up to 4 as a side salad.
INGREDIENTS:2 large beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 slicing cukes (cucumbers), cut into slices
1 lb green beans
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 handfuls fresh basil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
½ loaf of good sourdough bread, torn into large but bite-size pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cherry tomatoes and green beans on a sheet pan. Thinly slice two garlic cloves and add them to the tomatoes and beans. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil (doesn’t have to be the “good” olive oil here). Roast for 15 minutes until tomatoes begin to burst.
While those are roasting, prep the other ingredients. Thinly slice the shallot and place in a small bowl with a sprinkle of salt and the red wine vinegar. Lightly squeeze the shallot and submerge it in the vinegar.
For the dressing, grate one of the large tomatoes on the big side of a box grater into a medium bowl. You should get all the pulp and the skin will remain intact. Crush the remaining clove of garlic with the side of a knife and add to the grated tomato. Add the balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp of “good” olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine. The dressing won’t fully emulsify, but this is OK.
Add the sliced cucumbers to a big bowl (no need to peel) and roughly chop the second large tomato and add to the cucumber bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Once the cherry tomatoes and beans are done roasting, let them cool for 5 minutes, then add them to one side of the big bowl with chopped tomatoes and cukes (don’t put right on top).
Add the torn sourdough to the same pan used to roast the other veggies and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil (not the good stuff), and bake for 15-25 minutes until crispy around the edges. Let the bread cool for 5-10 minutes until cool enough to touch.
We’re now ready to assemble! This salad does not wait for anyone, so be ready to eat as soon as it’s tossed together. Add the bread to the big bowl, drain and squeeze the shallot, and add in roughly torn basil leaves. Drizzle with about ¾ of the dressing, you may not need all of it. You’ll want to toss everything until the bread is moistened, but not soggy – we like to do this with our hands. Add extra dressing if need be to keep everything saucy, but not soupy.
Divide among bowls, drizzle with more of the “good” olive oil and some flaky salt. Bon Appetit!