savory green tomato cobbler

last summer i came up with a brilliant idea for using an excessive amount of cherry tomatoes growing from my parents garden. i wanted to stew them, and i knew i wanted some baked good to soak them up with. and then it dawned on me: cobbler. i had never heard of a savory cobbler before, but if one were to make such a thing, tomatoes would be the perfect filler. 

i don't know why i didn't think to remake the cobbler this summer. until this week, when i was gifted with a bag of green tomatoes from my band mate's garden. i could have just substituted them into the previous recipe, but i decided to tailor it to the new flavor. i envisioned some cross between cornmeal-fried green tomatoes and my old recipe. i was a bit skeptical as i was throwing it together... preparing myself for plan b: leftover vegetable soup. i don't know why i lost confidence. the cobbler turned out to be spectacular! the next day, i reheated the leftovers in a small cast iron skillet in the oven and topped it with a fried egg. 

savory green tomato cobbler ~ serves 4-6

3 lbs green tomatoes, or about 5 cups
1 large yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch chili flakes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

biscuit topping: 
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoon coarse cornmeal
extra grated cheese

preheat oven to 375. cut onion in half and cut into thin slice. heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. cook onions slowly, stirring every few minutes, until caramelized - about 15 minutes. remove from heat and transfer onions to a large mixing bowl to cool. remove any stems on tomatoes, and cut into large chunks and add to the mixing bowl along with remaining filling ingredients. using your hands or spoon, gently stir the mixture without squishing your tomatoes. pour this mixture into a 9-inch square casserole dish (or pie pan works just as well). 

to prepare the biscuits, mix dry ingredients in a bowl. cut butter into tiny bits, and add to flour. using your hands, work the butter into the mixture until it forms crumbles of dough. add grated cheese & diced jalapenos, stir to distribute evenly into the flour mixture. finally, add milk (starting with one cup) and stir to combine. add more milk if needed - texture should be fairly sticky and not very formable. 

to assemble, drop 1/2 cup dollops of dough on top of the tomato mixture. i fit about nine drop-biscuits on top of my cobbler. allow a little space in between each biscuit for room to spread. top each biscuit with a small sprinkle of grated cheese and a dusting of cornmeal. if you have extra dough, do not cram it onto your cobbler. just make a few drop biscuits on a lined baking sheet (about 25 minutes in the oven) ... you can snack on these while you wait for the cobbler to finish! 

bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the tomatoes are clearly bubbling and biscuits are nicely browned. let cool for 10 minutes before serving. excellent with a fried egg or a green salad!