All Tomato, All The Time
“Oh no, not tomatoes for lunch AND dinner again today!”
You’ll never hear that around here, where warm waves of tomato satisfaction wash over us each time we pass the three pots wherein are ensconced our precious tomato plants. Sure, it’s the south of France and tomatoes are heaped on every available shop surface, but these are our personal tomatoes, fussed over, watered faithfully every morning, and fed the grounds from our morning espresso. It’s hard to resist the temptation to just sit by the pot and eat them straight from the vine, but this recipe is so good that it’s well worth a moment’s self-denial for the eventual reward of serving up these treats.
It’s admittedly hard to choose, but I have to say that this is my all-time favorite thing to do with Roma tomatoes:
You know you want some. Luckily for you it’s practically the easiest thing in the world to make.
Roasted Roma Tomatoes with Garlic and Basil
a heap of Roma tomatoes
a big bunch of fresh basil
lots of fresh garlic
some good fruity olive oil
salt and pepper
Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise, leaving the skins on. Spread a thin film of olive oil over the bottom of an oven-proof pan large enough to hold your tomatoes in one layer. Remove the basil leaves from the stems but leave the leaves whole. Peel and thinly slice the garlic.
Preheat your oven to 350° F./180° C. Lay the basil leaves all over the bottom of the pan. Use lots. Scatter the garlic slices over the basil. Use lots. Set the tomatoes, cut side down, on top of the garlic and basil. You can fill the pan completely, putting the tomatoes shoulder to shoulder, but leave them in one layer. Drizzle the tomatoes with additional olive oil, making sure that each tomato gets some oil. Put the tomatoes in the oven and roast them, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes. Keep your eye on them, they’re done when they looked collapsed and the skin is puckery and lightly browned.
Remove tomatoes from the oven and let cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, lightly pinch off the skins, which will be amazingly easy to do. Salt and pepper the tomatoes to taste. Store in the fridge.
With these little treasures you can make a sandwich, or stir a big scoop of them into pasta or over polenta. You can add them to a saute of zucchini or eggplant, or use them to fill an omelette. In fact, I think you’ll find that this is one of the most versatile things you can have in your summer kitchen. If you dream up some great new use for them, please post it here for all to share!
And because a reader was wise enough to suggest that this site needs an index of recipes, watch for one to appear soon. I’ll start working on it right after I eat that picture-perfect tomato sandwich.