Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Not generally a tomato product or Italian-y food fan, but won over by the extensive array of pretty tomatoes at the farmers' market (bless your heart, Davis) I pulled out this recipe for oven-roasted tomatoes. And glory! Super-versatile deliciousness with minimal labor! So far, I have had this spread on olive bread with slices of raw goat cheese cheddar (see below), on multigrain toast with avocado (think fancy BLT), and tossed with some Italian sausage tortellini and smoked mozzarella. Yum, yes?
The original recipe calls for steeping the roasted tomatoes with raw garlic; I wondered why not roast some garlic along with the tomatoes, but stuck to the recipe anyway. The answer? At least with the varieties that I used, after several hours in the oven, they were fairly sweet in that good tomatoey way and really benefited from the brighter bite of raw garlic. The sweet, caramelized flavor of roasted garlic would have muddled the flavor balance. In conclusion? Follow directions!
To make your own Pomodori al Forno:
Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
Cut some tomatoes in half, equatorially, and remove seeds.
Get out some of that really good olive oil you've been hiding. Pour enough into a baking pan so that all your tomatoes will be sitting in some.
Place tomatoes in pan, cut side down. Sprinkle with dried oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar. Don't be scared of sugar! It helps balance the acidity.
Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top.
Put in oven for 1 hour. Flip tomatoes. Put back in oven for 1 hour. Flip again. Put back in oven for 15-45 minutes. Remove tomatoes when they're tender, but not falling apart. A little mush is fine!
Put tomatoes in a bowl. Toss in 2 minced garlic cloves. Pour remaining olive oil over the top. The left over olive oil is gold! Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. Indulge in your tomatoes as you will, then store in fridge when done.