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Plum Tomatoes

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Illustrations by John Burgoyne  

Even the New York Mets aren’t having as bad a season as the local tomato crop; the so-called late blight came early this year and never let up. That doesn’t mean you can’t find some tasty specimens at your local Greenmarket—like this plum variety from Migliorelli Farm. Can a bunch for the predicted record-cold winter ahead, or try some fresh in this recipe for the Middle Eastern tomato-and-egg dish shakshuka.

Janna Gur’s Shakshuka

10 plum tomatoes
3 tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs. harissa (available at Taïm and Le Pain Quotidien)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin or chili powder
2 tbs. tomato paste
4 eggs

Blanch the fresh plum tomatoes and (1) peel off the skins. Cut into quarters and (2) remove seeds. Dice the tomatoes and reserve. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet and lightly fry the garlic. Add the tomatoes and seasonings and cook for 15–20 minutes over low heat, partially covered. Add the tomato paste, cover, and simmer for a few more minutes. Adjust the seasoning—the sauce should have a strong, piquant flavor. Break the eggs one by one and (3) slide them into the tomato sauce. Turn heat down a little, and cook until the egg whites set (about 5–7 minutes). Cover completely if you want firmer eggs. Serve with crusty bread or warm pita. (Adapted from The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey by Janna Gur; Schocken Books, 2007.)


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