I’ve been fairly lucky with growing tomatoes here in Nashville the past several years…knock on wood. Notice the word luck, as much as I’d love to say that I’m a green thumb, it’s not the case but it’s something I’m determined to learn! Nonetheless, with my gardening luck, I’ve been able to grow some amazing tomatoes during the late spring-summer, so much so that I find myself running out of ways to use them all before going bad. So in an attempt to utilize tomatoes in a very unique way, I’m marrying two red gems of summer, tart cherries with sweet tomatoes in an epic “lazy” sweet and savory clafoutis. Oh, and it’s topped with a Thyme Coconut Drizzle that’s kind of out of this world.
Clafoutis, although they sound elegant and slightly intimidating, they’re not. They’re an incredibly delicious and simple way to make a custard turned bread pudding…sans bread. In my opinion, clafoutis remind me of a custard, cobbler, and bread pudding all mixed into one delicious batter, then sprinkled with “filler” ingredients, in this case tart cherries and tomatoes.
What is a clafoutis (kla-foo-tee)? The first trial of this recipe was not meant to be a clafoutis at all, it was a tart…andddd the gluten free tart I made was a complete flop (if you follow me on SnapChat you’d know what I was talking about)! As much as I love making pies and tarts, baking just isn’t my jam- I’m a very confident cook using ingredients like paint and adding them into a black canvas, slowly building upon their flavors. Although I respect baking, I can’t whip up a baked recipe as quick and delicious as I can with cooking. Nonetheless, a clafoutis makes me feel like I can bake, without actually calling myself a baker. A clafoutis is a traditional French custard typically made with fruits, like black cherries and raisins, and is served as a warm dessert with powdered sugar, cinnamon, and sometime ice cream. Clafoutis literally mean “to fill”, meaning the batter is filled with fruits or any “additions” you’d like to, to have fun with it. I’m definitely sharing my own take on this by adding tart cherries with sweet summer tomatoes and serving it with a delicious Thyme Coconut Drizzle instead of a heavier ice cream; which is a delicious way to add a “cooling” factor to the dish and the thyme is really beautiful paired with tomatoes. It’s decadent, lush, and not for the calorie conscious, but for those looking for a delicious whole-food sweet to savor and enjoy mindfully.
Tomatoes are one of those veggies that actual increase in nutrition when cooked (same with carrots), they’re antioxidants (carotenoids) and the bioavailability of lycopene actually increases during the heating process and even when mixed with a healthy fat like olive oil in this recipe. Whereas many other fruits and vegetables actually decrease in nutrition; especially those high in vitamin C, since it’s very sensitive, but note the vitamin C isn’t completely gone! Cherries are one of my favorite fruits, they’ve been studied specifically for their effects on exercise induced muscle damage, reducing muscle pain, and reducing muscle stress. Tart cherries have also been used for gout, dyspepsia, edema, insomnia, and osteoarthritis. Tart cherries also contain melatonin, the hormone that helps all of us get a good night’s sleep; therefore it’s claimed to help with insomnia although there is not enough research to claim enhancing sleep quality. The role of cherries in exercise and athletic performance show consuming these food products prior, during, and post exercise may help reduce pain, delayed onset muscle soreness, and overall provide an anti-inflammatory benefit to skeletal muscle. You may use tart cherries as the whole fruit raw, frozen, juice, or as juice concentrate prior to exercise, during exercise or post-exercise.
All nutrition aside, this dish is just plain good! I enjoy this most served with a large green salad simply dressed, like my Ultimate Spring Salad, Massaged Kale Salad, or Simple Greens Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. Because this clafoutis is a sweet and savory mix of cherries and tomatoes you can easily enjoy this for breakfast or dessert as well. Side note, also meet the most unphotogenic food I have shot to this day- it’s not the most beautiful, but I promise you, it’s delicious!
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 3 whole eggs
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (for cast iron skillet/pan)
- 2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 cups whole red cherries
- THYME COCONUT DRIZZLE, optional
- 1/2 cup canned light coconut milk
- 1/4 cup chopped thyme
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Preheat 9-inch cast iron skillet in the oven until hot.
- In a blender, mix eggs, almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup, and blend until smooth. Add in almond flour and all purpose gluten free flour, and sea salt.
- Remove cast iron skillet from oven and add 2 tablespoons coconut oil, making sure to grease the sides well.
- Pour the batter into the hot skillet and arrange cherries and tomatoes evenly into the batter. Immediately put the skillet in the oven (using a mit for the hot handel). Bake for 35 minutes or until the clafoutis is puffed and golden brown.
- Serve with Thyme Coconut Drizzle, by combining coconut milk with thyme and a pinch of sea salt to taste. Stir and drizzle on top of the warm clafoutis.
In case you missed it last week, I’m so happy to read your kind comments and to share the new shop including some really fun and cute t-shirts! I can’t wait to see you rock these and be sure to tag #nutritionstrippedgear so I can see and share how you style yours!