Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.
This week, we asked for your most deeply flavored tomato dishes.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Snapper in Veracruz Tomato Sauce by Felisa Rogers: Every dish tells a story, Felisa reminds us, and this one, for lime-marinated fish in a tomato sauce sparkling with olives and capers, tells countless histories of tomatoes, of Mexico, of Montezuma and of the author's own father.
THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY WINNERS:
Caramelized Tomato Tart by Linda Shiue: A tarte tatin may just be a gussied-up apple pie with a French accent, but after a chance meeting with a talented and generous chef, Linda reconfigures the flaky pastry treat to mix sweet and savory, with a caramelized tomato topping, fragrant with herbs and garlic.
Baked Tomatoes With Thyme Breadcrumbs by Phoebe Lapine: Sure, they're kind of old-fashioned, but the retro pleasures of crisp crumbs with meltingly soft tomatoes should really have never gone away, right?
Roasted Summer Vegetables With Cheese (Briami) by Lucy Mercer: Well, Lucy doesn't mince words this week when she refers to her dish as food of the gods ... but then again, roasting off potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and cubes of cheese (yes, roasted cheese) in a boatload of olive oil with a fistful of herbs? Yeah, that probably qualifies.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE EXCELLENT HONORABLE MENTIONS
Tomato-Apple Pasta by Felicia Lee: One of the great things about cooking is seeing the parallels between how we approach food and how we approach all other aspects of life. Felicia, a linguist, shares a fascinating recount of why we're not supposed to end sentences in prepositions -- and then shows us why that faulty rule might also prevent us from enjoying the pleasures of a pasta sauce as unusually delicious as this.
Cornbread-stuffed Baked Tomatoes by Madland: Stale cornbread gets a second life when tossed with sautéed garlic and pine nuts, moistened with broth, and rebaked inside ripe tomatoes, soaking up their juices. Sooner or later you'll be hiding the cornbread so people can't finish it when it's fresh.
Lamb and Tomato Stew, South African-style by Fusun Atalay: For better or worse, most people don't ever forget the first time they meet their partner's family. Fusun is lucky enough to have walked away from that moment with happy memories and a recipe for a rich, tomatoey stew.
Southern-style Stewed Tomatoes With Okra by Lisa Kuebler: For those of us without a Southern grandmother (or who do, but want to read a touching tribute to a Southern grandmother), Lisa checks in this week with a deep-summer staple of Cornbread Nation.
And this week, two tomato soup stories about love:
Homemade Tomato Soup by Kolika Elle Kirk: Kolika's still rocking out in cooking school, and her soup skills are growing by the minute. A good thing, too, for when her boyfriend shows up one day with a towering stack of tomato crates. There's not a recipe, per se, but she walks you through making your own roasted tomato soup, a sight better than anything you get with your grilled cheese.
Bachelor Heaven Roasted Tomato Soup by Gavin Fritton: The family is away, the kung fu movies are rented, and there's a steak in the fridge. Gavin was ready to take his life back, when his late-August garden started getting needy. He may have lost his bachelor vacation, but you at least get his soup technique!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
After all this talk of tomatoes, it's only fair to give a little play to that other summer superstar, corn. Long ago, for the natives in the Northeast, beans and squash were the companions to corn -- the three, in addition to tasting terrific together, also grow together and, it turns out, also complete each other nutritionally.
But, of course, corn is beloved on its own, across many cultures. Mexican grilled corn, slathered in mayonnaise, lime and chile, is one of the great pleasures on earth. Scraped from the cob, corn chowder with a little cream and bacon could hardly be more satisfying. And tossed cold with herbs, a corn salad is crisp and refreshing. So this week, share with us your favorite ways with corn.
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC corn (Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you'd like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and literal, not figurative corniness.