Shout-out to a former karate pal, now chef Christina and her amazing blog for introducing me to what is definitely among my top 10 favorite recipes of all time: Slow Oven-Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes. A lot of the recipes on her drool-worthy blog are too advanced for a novice-with-two-kids-under-three like me, but this one caught my eye because it looked super easy. And because I've always wondered about the very best thing to do with the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes at our local farm stand.
Folks, this is it. Holy cow. I mean her blog lists suggestions for what to do with these babies after you've roasted them, but no matter; everything not immediately frozen for winter was gobbled down like candy. And I mean I don't even like tomatoes. But these... these are essentially caramelized. They're warm with chewy, sometimes crispy edges and soft middles, and they will cause an utter explosion of flavor in your mouth. I mean this will forevermore be a late-summer staple for us, a key part of my quest to mark my children's childhoods with seasonal food-associated memories. Give them a try, I implore you!! Capture some of summer's strongest flavors, and freeze some for the winter - if you can resist eating them all!
|So Simple, So Easy!!|
Slow Oven-Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes
4-6 Heirloom Tomatoes
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1.5 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Optional: Basil to sprinkle*
Optional: Balsamic Vinegar to drizzle*
** Her recipe said you could add other herbs or what have you, so I added these. I don't know what the result is without them.
** I used "LiteHouse" freeze-dried basil. I think that was great - it soaked up more of the vinegar, oil, and herbs. Also, it's just a great way to have semi-fresh basil always on hand for salads, for those of us blasphemers. Find it in the refrigerated area of your grocery store's produce section.
Preheat oven to 250. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleaning. Core and slice heirloom tomatoes about 1/2 inch thick - thicker for more tomato flavor; thinner for a more chewy and caramelized experience.
Mix together olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, and salt. Spoon over sliced tomatoes - it's okay if it's not perfect. Sprinkle with cracked pepper and basil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Bake for 2 - 2.5 hours. This recipe is very forgiving; all that happens if you leave them in too long is they become smaller and chewier. Fine by me. The finished-product pics I have are of a batch that got overdone. They might have been the most delicious yet.
- Serve bruschetta-style over toasted, buttered or olive-oiled rounds.
- Add to sauces.
- Add to sandwiches - check out the BLT on Focaccia on Christina's blog.
- Stuff inside Pillsbury Crescent rolls.
- Toss with couscous and feta, pine nuts, raisins, etc.
- Add to pasta salad.
- Substitute for therapy.