A redeeming dish for a-little-too-ripe tomatoes. Heavily adapted from a recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. To fancy it up, peel the tomatoes, or add Parmesan to the topping. Neither are in any way necessary. —Ali Slagle
6 to 8
tomatoes, cut into large wedges (add more if the bottom of the pan isn't completely filled with tomatoes)
Butter or oil a pie plate or 8-inch square baking dish. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, garlic, basil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour them into the prepared dish. If there aren't enough tomatoes to fully over the bottom of the pan, add a few more.
To make the topping, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and a 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the butter cubes, stir to combine, then break the butter up with your fingers so the cubes turn into small pebbles. Pour in the buttermilk and mix until the topping comes together. If it looks dry, add more buttermilk. If it doesn't look dollop-able, add more flour.
Drop dollops of the topping on top of the tomatoes, leaving little holes so the tomatoes can steam through.
Baking for about 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are bubbling and the topping is lightly brown. Serve warm or at room temp, by the large spoonful.