Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Roasted Tomatoes

Other than a ripe tomato fresh out of the garden, there may be nothing better than these roasted tomatoes.

I had one Roma tomato plant in my small truck patch here in the District of Columbia about a mile from the White House and it has served up one generous pasta sauce and now a second round of delicious roasted tomatoes.

This would fall more under the category of formula than recipe. Take as many Roma tomatoes as you have ripe, trim off the stem end, then slice the tomatoes lengthwise into six wedges each. Season these generously with extra-virgin olive oil, add a handful of chopped parsley, some finely chopped rosemary and some minced lemon zest. Now add a couple of garlic cloves, minced, and season everything with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss, then spread on a baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in a 400-degree oven and roast the tomatoes until they are soft and aromatic. Now put the tomatoes under the broiler until they begin to char around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. You can serve them like this--warm--or hold them a couple of days in the refrigerator while the flavors meld and reheat them.

We had them last night with pasture-raised pork chops from the farmers market down the street and a quinoa pilaf. My wife found some sour cherries in the fridge and made a reduction to sauce the pork. The sauce was delicious. But what really blew her hair back were the tomatoes. I don't know if I will ever get around to canning my tomatoes or making tomato sauce again now that I know the heights they can reach in the oven.

Enjoy your tomatoes. It's October. They won't be around much longer.

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