Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

Tomatoes rule.

From the briny, sun-dried kind to the beautifully plump Jerseys, and sweet, eat-them-by-the-handful cherry variety, this versatile fruit just makes everything better.

Let's face it -- there would be no BLT without the T. And, grilled cheese is just sad without a bowl of hot, creamy tomato soup beside it. Have you heard of Bloody Marys? A world without those is a world I do not want to be a part of, thank you. Plus, who could live without tomato pie, pizza pie, lasagna, or spaghetti with Sunday gravy? Not this lady. There are tomatoes in my kitchen 24/7.

Now that the sun-kissed, juicy tomatoes of Summer have left us, I'm using tomatoes in salads and sandwiches less often and baking, stuffing, roasting, and pureeing them instead.
One of the simplest, yet tastiest ways to enjoy a tomato this time of year is to roast them. Simply toss your tomatoes (whole or sliced, depending on what size/type you're using) with some olive oil and a bit of Kosher salt and roast at 450 degrees until browned and deflated. You can add some cloves of garlic, dried herbs, or some sliced red pepper to the pan if you want, too.


Once they're roasted, let the tomatoes cool and drain away the oil/juices into a separate container for dipping crusty bread, topping pizzas or tossing with pasta. Then, chop the tomatoes up (if they aren't sliced) and the possibilities are endless:
  • Pile them on sandwiches/burgers along with basil and mozzarella for a Caprese-style treat.
  • Blend them with fresh herbs and cream/stock for a tasty soup or sauce
  • Use as a pizza or crostini topping. (They are especially great with ricotta or goat cheese.)
  • Spoon a mixture of the tomatoes, lemon, olives and parsley over roasted fish.
  • Stuff chicken breasts with the tomatoes, some feta cheese and spinach and bake until cooked through and browned.
  • Cook until heated through with with tuna (in oil), chili pepper and olives, then toss with pasta.
  • Fold into scrambled eggs or fill an omelet with them.
  • Spoon them over a toasted bagel that's topped with cream cheese or ricotta.
Or, you can just scoop them into a bowl, sprinkle on some chopped basil and ground black pepper, put them on the table -- and watch them disappear!
Food like this is magic.
xoxo


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