Return of the Recipe Matchmaker
What to bring to a book club potluck, what side dish to make to please a crowd at a child’s birthday party and what to do with all those cherry tomatoes.
By Tanya Sichynsky
Sound the Recipe Matchmaker alarm, because we are so back.
Last week, I asked you to send in your hyper-specific recipe requests so that I could pair you with some dishes from the New York Times Cooking database, and, as ever, you delivered.
If I didn’t respond below to your request, fear not! I read every single one, and I’m pocketing your requests (pregnancy aversions! more C.S.A. dilemmas!) for future newsletters — including next week’s (eggplant bonanza!).
“I’m looking for a recipe to use up the wayyy too many cherry tomatoes from my garden. Preferably something that doesn’t require me to heat up my kitchen.” — Ellen
“What to do with an abundance of cherry tomatoes?” — Libby
To avoid any cooking at all, make a tomato “quick kimchi” à la Eric Kim, in which you can certainly use halved or quartered cherry tomatoes. You’ll want to eat these within 24 hours of making them, unlike a traditional kimchi. Spoon them — and their flavorful dressing — over cool silken tofu or chilled noodles. (Be mindful to swap in soy sauce for the fish sauce to keep it vegetarian.)
And in a similar no-cook vein, Yewande Komolafe’s sauce moyo with mango pairs ripe tomatoes with red onion, Scotch bonnet chile and mango for an easy, vibrant relish to drape over warm grain bowls.
Or: Pull out the slow cooker. It won’t heat up the kitchen, and, over six hours, Sarah DiGregorio’s recipe for tomato compote transforms two pounds of cherry tomatoes into a jammy fruit preserve. Depending on how you serve it, it can lean either sweet or savory. Toss it with warm pasta, spoon it over ricotta toast or smear it on sandwiches.
Hosts with the most
“My book club has a potluck coming up. I’m looking for a vegetarian and gluten-free recipe for a main dish that can be served hot, warm or cold. … I’m not a big fan of tofu, but would try it for you.” — Linda
Love that open-mindedness, Linda. But I’ll steer you clear of tofu (for now). Why not give Nargisse Benkabbou’s roasted cauliflower with sweet chermoula and yogurt a try? The dish is easy to double or triple depending on the size of your club. And it checks all of your boxes, though it would benefit from a side of flatbread for any guests not abstaining from gluten. And should you like to make it a heartier meal, roast some chickpeas until crunchy to serve overtop or alongside.
“I could really use help with a side dish. I need something that can be enjoyed at a child’s second birthday where most of the people will be vegetarians. No walnuts and no zucchini. Ideally, this could be made in advance and would be happy to be served on a buffet on a hot summer day. Bonus points for seasonal produce and things that don’t make a stain when kids rub them into their shirts.” — Jessica
While I can’t promise that 2-year-olds won’t find some way to rub it into any fabrics within a five-foot radius of them, this tomato-green bean salad with chickpeas, feta and dill from David Tanis is nut-free, perfectly summery and relatively heatproof, as the feta won’t melt into goop under the sun. (You could, of course, skip the cheese entirely for a fresh vegan side. Add some kalamata or Castelvetrano olives for a briny bite instead.) The dish benefits from a brief marinade before serving, though it won’t suffer if you need to prepare it a few hours before your guests arrive.
Make sure to read to the end for a bit of rapid-fire Recipe Matchmaker!
Slow-Cooker Tomato Compote
View this recipe.
Roasted Cauliflower With Sweet Chermoula and Yogurt
View this recipe.
Tomato-Green Bean Salad With Chickpeas, Feta and Dill
View this recipe.
One More Thing!
Rapid-Fire Recipe Matchmaker
Q: “A bright, meaty mushroom cutlet that can be dressed up with fixings, or served simply with a side. Thank you!” — Alison
A: Herbaceous mushroom patties inspired by both Iranian kotlet and kookoo!
Q: “I am curious if you have any soups or stews that contain: legumes, peanuts or peanut butter, sweet potatoes.” — Kristen
A: Try this curried sweet potato soup with coconut and kale! Another slow-cooker save.
Q: A multi-bean summer salad. — Bernadette
A: Herby three-bean salad!
Q: Now, what can I make with this 16-ounce jar of tahini besides hummus? — Carmella
A: Homemade halvah or salted tahini-chocolate chip cookies!
Thanks for reading, and for writing! See you next week.
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