Monday, September 6, 2010

Roasted Tomatoes

I have a favorite summer salad, that I adapted from The Food Network. It's corn, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and avocado with a cilantro/lime vinaigrette. Simple and good, it gets raves.

In my version, I roast the corn kernels with a drizzle of olive oil and some kosher salt. Today I decided to use plum tomatoes, and to roast them, too. The original recipe is good, but it's a little "raw." I prefer the deeper flavors that roasting reveals, and for the salad to be served only slightly chilled.

I assembled the ingredients, with the dressing and a few lime slices for the garnish on the side. I tossed it when I got to the BBQ, so the salad would not be sodden. I was flattered that the hostess asked to keep the leftover salad, while she returned my bowl. Heck, yeah. Pay it forward!

Here's the tomato(e) how-to:

I learned this simple recipe in Tuscany last summer. Preheat the oven to 275 F. Slice the tomatoes in half, cut off the woody stem end, including the little white piece inside. Use your thumb to remove the seeds.

Parchment paper on the baking sheet makes clean up easier, and the tomatoes won't stick. Drizzle tomatoes with your favorite extra virgin olive oil (I had this La Macchia shipped from Italy after I visited the olive grove), and sprinkle with kosher salt. No pepper; it's bitter, and what you want here is to coax the pure good taste from the tomatoes.

Roast for 2 hours. Go play, write a poem, do some laundry, take a walk, wash your car or see a movie--the key here is to roast "low and slow." I flipped these over and sprinkled a little kosher salt on top for the last 30 mins. Peel off the skin, and there you have it--roasty, tasty plum tomatoes. Serve them as a side, put them on a panini, or slice and use them in a salad, such as the one pictured below, and to which I've linked above.

Ready for the BBQ.  Off I go!

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