“Don’t mess with perfection,” or so the saying goes. When life hands you perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes, you should enjoy them in their raw, natural state, yes? But what if there’s something better than perfection. What if tomatoes really want to be blistered until almost black, pan-seared on a hot skillet until warm and crunchy, exploding with juices on your plate?
This is the way we’ve been enjoying our summer tomato bounty. Juicy tomatoes of all colors and sizes get tossed onto a steaming hot iron skillet and blistered until their skins bubble and their cut sides char. This works well with any size tomato, though I recommend charring grape tomatoes whole. Toss a smattering of other veggies in the hot pan with some more oil and serve along side two perfectly cooked eggs.
I like to serve my seared veggies topped with fried sage, also fresh from my garden. Frying sage is delicate work, but once you get the hang of it you’ll want to to serve it on everything.
Skillet Squash and Peppers with Pan-Fried Tomatoes and Crispy Sage
1 or 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut in half and/or a handful of cherry tomatoes
1 or 2 summer squash, sliced into thin rounds
half a sweet onion, sliced thin
1-2 sweet bell peppers, seeded and sliced
handful fresh sage leaves
olive oil for the pan
fresh grated parmesan to serve
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 farm fresh pastured eggs
- Heat a large iron skillet over medium high heat until smoking. Rub a small amount of olive oil on the cut side of the tomatoes and place cut side down on the hot skillet. Let sear for 5 minutes WITHOUT touching.
- Use a spatula to turn the tomatoes and add the sliced onions, squash, and peppers to the hot pan, drizzling with more oil if needed.
- Let veggies sear for a minute or so and flip as needed. They will brown and caramelize quickly with the heat. Tomatoes will taste fine charred but try to avoid burning the other veggies.
- Fry your sage while the other veggies cook. Heat 2-3 TBS olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add sage leaves without overcrowding and fry until the leaves turn dark green. Stir to make sure they are coated in oil or they will brown instead of crisp. Remove the sage from the hot pan and set aside.
- When the veggies in the pan are sufficiently brown, remove to a warm plate and use the skillet to cook your eggs to your liking. For sunny side up eggs, decrease heat to medium and add 2 tbs butter to pan. Immediately crack two eggs into the butter. Cook until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny.
- Serve on warm plates with crusty bread, garnished with your reserved fried sage leaves and freshly grated parmesan.