Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rain Roasted Tomatoes

It's one of the rare breaks in this year's rainy season. Instead of going outside & enjoying my fabulous balcony (it has live plants on it!), I spend my evenings in the kitchen with low maintenance food. Take the humble tomato, for example. It is capable of so much - everything from the ketchup to pizza, to sauce, to a salad caprese, to gazpacho, to being stuffed; it can be a star yet it is not afraid of being in a supporting role. To think that the Europeans were afraid of the tomato when it first came from the Americas - they claimed that it gave rise to passion, and although I think they meant carnal lust, I am still passionate about fresh, local tomatoes.

The local farm has many fresh tomatoes. I had a minor argument the other day as I was discussing which tomato would be best to roast. My trusted green grocer wanted to direct me towards meaty tomatoes. I however, wanted the sweetness that the smaller varieties have.

Smaller tomatoes, with their inherent sweetness, lead me to the bottle of balsamic vinegar I bought in Italy a while back. It's a 12 year old & rich & drippy & thick. Plan: Roast tomatoes with olive oil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar & sprinkle with sea salt when they come out.

Rain Roasted Tomatoes
300g small tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt
balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 160°C.
Slice tomatoes in half.
In a bowl, gently toss sliced tomatoes with olive oil to coat.
Place tomatoes on baking sheet & roast for 45 minutes (will take longer with larger tomatoes).
Sprinkle with sea salt & drizzle balsamic vinegar on top.

I'm amazed by the sweet caramel of these tomatoes - in fact, I was just picking it off the baking dish. Maybe I'd try some rosemary of thyme with it, and I have to say, I was very happy. But in retrospect, I have to admit, there is nothing worth getting into an argument with my vegetable guy for. Vegetable guy: I'm sorry. I'm more than happy to try again with meatier tomatoes.


Cathy said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm damn those look good.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any really decent tomatoes at the farmer's market here in Schweinfurt yet. But then, I haven't been in about a week, either! (We've got the rain, too, but I don't mind it; I hate the heat!) Will go insearch of some really outstanding balsamic and toms to try this, though!

Lone Acorn said...

Juicy ripe tomatoes are so tasty to eat. And in this recipe roasted tomatoes are so good. I can change it a little with variation being a filling which I can add in tomatoes before roasting.

taste traveller said...

Cathy: :-)

wishfulbohemian: Come to HD - the weather here is always a little bit warmer than in the rest of Germany. Plus, it's pretty ;-)

Lone Acorn: Let me know what you use & how that goes - I'm very interested.

Q. said...

Yum. Had these several times when I was in Paris last month. A lot of the little cafes there serve them alongside quiche, sandwiches, etc.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

I make something similar to this but I use vintage dark sherry because of my quirk with vinegar. I think I found the recipe on Wellfed more than a year ago and it was so nice I've been making it ever since. It's pretty much like yours but it was tomatoes, slices of red onion, EVO, salt, pepper, rosemary and balsamic vinegar. 250C for 1 hour I think.

Tim said...

I'm afraid that there's been no sign of a break in the rainy season down here :S

Love the look of these tomatoes though, and how good is old Italian balsamic? It's got that familiar vinegary tang, but at the same time is so smooth and syrupy that it makes all lesser balsamics look like dishwater in comparison!

taste traveller said...

Q: thanks for stopping by. I'm thinking of Parisian cafes & quiches right now :-)

Murasaki: yes, they seem to be really popular now - I thought I'd try them on their own, but now I want them with herbs!

Tim: Misery loves company ;-) Hope we both get sunny skies soon.

topdog said...

Great blog, just got here but love what I've read so far. I roasted some tomatoes this evening and used them for a tomato/goat cheese tart..yum!
We're having a lot of rain this summer too (way above normal) so our tomatoes have been pretty crappy so far. I thought roasting would give them some flavour since fresh isn't the best right now. I also added some rosemary to the tomatoes, turned out great!

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