Friday, October 1, 2010

Roasted Tomatoes.

This is the easiest recipe yet, but ohhh it's among the most delicious. This is the dish that converted how I feel about tomatoes in salad. I think that making it with my home-grown tomatoes was also a revolutionary thing, because it was probably among the first times that I ate a tomato that actually tasted the way that a tomato should. If I'm eating tomatoes that aren't completely ripe (as in, juicy and squishy ripe, not as in kinda-red-and-firm ripe) then they'll be cooked, thankyouverymuch. However, sometimes I still feel inclined to cook those ripe tomatoes, if only because I'm suddenly aware that I have far too many tomatoes on my windowsill. This week it was only ten or so tomatoes, and thankfully they were quite small. They didn't quite make it into pasta sauce, because that spaghetti squash was so disappointing. When I was growing tomatoes in my Leader Street garden, I'd have thirty or forty on the windowsill, which generally instilled me with a sense of panic.

However, in this recipe, the tomatoes shrink considerably, because they're slowly baked so that they lose their moisture without losing their shape. I think this was probably one of the original benefits to this recipe; it meant that I could fit so many tomatoes in my fridge, thanks to the wonders of tupperware. I'd pour the liquids from the roasting dish into the container, too, and use it as a salad dressing. Then there was the day that I combined these tomatoes in a salad with nothing more than home-grown cucumber and toasted, crusty sourdough bread, and covered it in the tomato juice. I ate that salad at least twice a day for several weeks, it was that good. And it got rid of lots of tomatoes. I think that was probably also when I became addicted to olive oil. It was a really good summer.

Use good olive oil with this one, if only because you don't want to waste the amazing juices from the roasted tomatoes by saturating them in a mediocre oil. Red wine vinegar is my vinegar of choice here - it's not as overpowering or sweet as balsamic can be. Lighter vinegar lets the tomatoes shine through. Even if you're just going to eat these tomatoes as-is, make sure you've got some bread on hand so that you can mop up the juices. You won't regret it, I promise.

Roasted Tomatoes
10 small tomatoes*
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Slice the tomatoes in half and arrange in a single layer in a baking dish. Drizzle with vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Bake in a 160 degree C oven, for about half an hour, or until lightly browned. Turn off the oven, but leave the tomatoes in there to cool. This allows them to cook a little more, but really slowly, which intensifies the flavours. When the tomatoes are cool (or barely warm), use them in a salad, or just snack on them straight from the dish.

*If you have large tomatoes, just cut them into quarters or chunks. They might need to roast for a little longer. I've used all manner of tomatoes (Cherry tomatoes, heirloom varieties, Black Russian and Green Zebra...) and they all taste fantastic. Just make sure they're vine-ripened: if they don't have any flavour to begin with, then they're not going to develop any in the oven.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...