Now that Labor Day has come and gone, it’s the cue for a final summer food fling — one last late-night barbecue and a fond farewell to the garden’s seasonal bounty.
Perhaps the saddest goodbye is to summer tomatoes. Although they’re available year-round, they never quite taste the same. Right now, they’re at peak deliciousness.
I eat them in every way I can: I fry them for breakfast, slow-roast them for salads, add them to sandwiches and make tomato chutney. But when big groups of friends come over, I love whipping up South Indian tomato and coconut rice.
Tomatoes work in a couple of different ways in this recipe: They create a wonderful sauce alongside the coconut milk, which is used to flavor and cook the rice, then they float to the top to decorate the dish.
The end result is a dish delicious enough to stand on its feet without the need for anything else (which is especially good if you have vegetarians or vegans at the table) but will also complement grilled meat or salad. As a side benefit, it’s inexpensive to cook a mountain of it and it uses just a single pot.