Dutch Baby takes a Mediterranean Holiday
Dutch Baby takes a Mediterranean Holiday
I discovered Dutch Babies about twenty years ago. Unfortunately, the recipe I was using did not call it that and so after making it a couple of times, I misplaced the recipe and could never find it again…About 2-3 years ago, I saw a recipe on NY Times for one that used berries. I thought it seemed similar to the savory egg thing I had made years before, but was not sure until I saw this recipe. Truthfully, I have not made this yet. I signed up to test it, but then had to back out because the deadline did not work for me, so I am going to make it tonight. I am excited for it though and will report back on how it turned out. You guys should unofficially test too and leave some feedback for both the author and me on FB.
- 1 generous pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 lemon
- 1 medium garlic clove
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (one for salad dressing)
- Several tomato leaves (omit if you don’t have access)
- A sprig or two basil (extra if you don’t have tomato leaves)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (one for cooking, or substitute with avocado or other high heat oil)
- ½ cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ to 2 oz feta
- Pre-heat oven to 425º F with a 10-inch cast iron skillet on a rack set near the center.
- While skillet is preheating wash the cherry tomatoes. Sort them into 2 groups with about ¾ of the middle-sized ones (for the skillet) in one group and the remaining largest and smallest in another (for the finished dish).
- Zest the lemon and microplane about half of the garlic clove into a small bowl. Juice the lemon and add 1 tablespoon to the bowl. Add 2 generous pinches kosher salt, and 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper. Whisk to combine. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil while whisking. Mince a generous tablespoon each of the tomato leaves and basil (or generous 2 T basil if you don’t have tomato leaves). Whisk into the dressing, and set aside.
- Remove skillet from oven and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Carefully add the middle-sized tomatoes to the skillet. They will spatter so do this wearing an oven mitt. In a minute or two the spattering will cease; sprinkle the tomatoes with 2 or 3 pinches of salt. Place the skillet back in the oven until the tomatoes have started to soften and split, about 5 to 6 minutes. (This may generate some smoke, so have your ventilation fan running.)
- Combine the milk, eggs, flour, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in blender. Blend for 30 seconds. (Tip: if you have an Oster brand blender a regular mouth Mason jar will work in place of the blender jar. Just add the ingredients to the jar, screw on the blade and base, and blitz away. It is great for blender drinks like smoothies as you can easily drink from the jar.)
- Remove skillet from the oven and pour the egg mixture in, spreading the tomatoes fairly evenly as you pour. If you have any major tomato free areas, you may quickly use a fork to adjust their placement. Place the skillet back in the oven, and bake until the pancake is puffed throughout and browning on the edges, about 15 minutes.
- While the pancake is baking, halve or quarter the remaining larger tomatoes. Crumble the feta. Re-whisk the dressing.
- Cut the pancake into 6 to 8 slices, then arrange the slices on a serving platter or individual plates. Scatter the tomatoes and feta over the slices. Drizzle on the dressing, and if desired grind some black pepper over it. Serve.
Author Notes: The September 2016 issue of Portland Monthly has a feature on Portland’s food scene history and features a few classic recipes. One of the recipes is for Henry Thiele’s German Pancake which is legendary in this town. (Unfortunately for me his restaurant closed in 1990, 6 years before I arrived so I never had the pleasure). Fortuitously, I was reading the article after having thought about the tomato showstopper contest theme. The two things melded in my mind: how would a savory, tomato-filled “Dutch baby” work? As luck would have it — pretty dang well! (NB: I call for tomato leaves in this recipe, which are edible and help reinforce the tomato flavor of the dish. If you don’t have access, then omit them and increase the basil, or add another herb or two you like with tomatoes like oregano or thyme. If you are afraid of eating tomato leaves check out this article by Harold McGee: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/dining/29curi.html?_r=0 )