This Tomato Cobbler recipe, like my Heirloom Tomato Pie, was conceived by treating the tomato like the fruit that it is. Just a few modifications turned this cobbler from a dessert to a savory side dish.
Much more forgiving than a pie or tart that requires a rolled dough, a cobbler is one of the simplest fruit desserts to bake. What could be easier than piling fruit and sugar into a casserole dish, topping it with a simple batter or crumb topping and letting it bake. Because it’s meant to be homey and rustic – you just scoop and serve without worrying about having a perfectly pretty slice on the plate.
To avoid a soupy filling I lightly salted the tomatoes to draw out some of the moisture. It would be a waste to throw away the flavorful juice so I added it to caramelized onions, then cooked it all down to concentrate the flavors. Of course, since this is a savory dish, there is no added sugar in the filling, though the tomatoes and caramelized onions do have plenty of natural sweetness.
I made a simple filling of just tomatoes and caramelized onion, but you can add other ingredients according to your taste and what you’ve got available. Chopped olives, crumbled bacon or feta cheese would be tasty with the tomatoes and corn.
The starting point for the topping was a sweet cornbread batter that I make for my favorite blueberry cobbler. To adapt it for my savory dish I reduced the amount of sugar to just a couple of teaspoons and added chopped fresh basil and a little black pepper. The fresh corn kernels add extra moisture so I reduced the amount of butter from the original recipe.
Mmm, it was delish. We enjoyed this cobbler as a side dish with grilled chicken, but it could also be served as a main course for a light dinner or lunch. I think this would be fabulous with a couple of eggs on the side for breakfast or brunch.
This one’s a keeper.
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