Earlier this week I wrote about my garden in Brooklyn and its lone lacinato kale-plant-that-could. But I have a very different story to tell about my garden's tomato plants, especially the Sun Gold, which began as a Greenmarket seedling only a few inches tall and now towers over me at close to seven feet. I have no idea what I did to deserve this, or what magic there is in the Brooklyn water, but the sight of literally hundreds of tomatoes that will someday ripen is almost frightening.
Not that I'm complaining. Sun Golds are among the most delicious tomatoes I've ever tasted, a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity—you can eat them like candy. This recipe, from New York Magazine adapted from the Babbo kitchen, couldn't be simpler. The flavors begin with the traditional "caprese" basil-and-tomato, but calls for lemon basil instead of regular basil and adds chives. Look for Sun Golds at your local greenmarket or replace them with very ripe cherry tomatoes.
About the author: Blake Royer lives in Brooklyn and spends most of his free time cooking and writing about it here at Serious Eats and on The Paupered Chef. From 9 to 5 weekdays, he works as an assistant book editor in Manhattan.
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 pints Sun Gold cherry tomatoes or other cherry tomatoes, whole
- 1/2 bunch chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 12 fresh lemon-basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 pound pasta (bavette, linguine, spaghetti, just about any kind)
Bring a large pot of salty water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, reserving some pasta water.
In the meantime, heat a large skillet or sauté pan with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it softens and just begins to brown.
Add the tomatoes, chives, and basil (reserve some for sprinkling at the end) and cook until the tomatoes just begin to burst.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring, for an additional minute to marry the flavors. Moisten with olive oil or pasta water as desired; serve immediately.