Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Tomato Tales

I have a confession to make. I don't like tomatoes. No, actually, I loathe them. Not cooked tomatoes, or pasta sauce, or even the friendly sun-dried kind (most days), but raw, seedy, watery, tomatoes literally make my throat close. Many a tomato-lover has begged me to try this heirloom or that cherry variety, but I just can not enjoy them. Luckily, my husband (and father and stepmother) feel the same way! 

As a food lover, this is a hard one. Tomatoes are one of the few food items that regularly pop up everywhere unannounced. Have you ever ordered a sandwich or salad and had it arrive with mushrooms not listed on the menu? Never. Unlisted tomatoes, on the other hand, are doled out aggressively. There are many bigger (and real!) problems to be had, but as a veggie lover my relationship with the tomato is a tough one.

I've been on a quest to enjoy CSA tomatoes. Pasta sauces and stews were satisfying...until I started roasting them. Inspired by two of everyone's favorite food bloggers, this one and that one, I roasted a batch last year and oh my lord are they sheer goodness. The roasting brings out an almost caramel taste, reminding you why this food is actually a fruit.

I pop roasted tomatoes in my mouth for a little treat after meals, as a part of breakfast, when opening the fridge to get water.... I'm addicted. And best of all for this CSA-er, roasted tomatoes are a fabulous way to enjoy a weeks worth of tomato shares in one go.

Roasted Tomatoes 
Ingredients 
  • 3 -12 tomatoes
  • Ground Cumin
  • Whole Coriander Seeds
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Olive Oil

 Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with tinfoil.
  • Wash, dry and cut in half as many tomatoes as you have on hand. I've used as little as 3 (6 halves), and as many as will fill two baking sheets.
  • Line the tomatoes, sliced side up in the pan.
  • Lightly drizzle with olive oil, up to 2 tablespoons for a full tray.
  • Sprinkle with salt, fresh pepper and ground cumin (nothing scientific, just a light dust)
  • Toss up to 2 tablespoons of whole coriander seeds over the tomatoes if roasting a whole tray. Some seeds will land on the tomatoes, others on the pan.
  • In the middle rack, roast the tomatoes for 2.5 - 4.5 hours depending on your oven and the size of the tomatoes.  They will shrink down to about 1/3rd their size, and smell a-MA-zing. 
Uses
Aside from their pop-them-in-your-mouth-like-candy enjoyability, these little gems are delicious: 
  • On sandwiches
  • Served warm on top of burgers (turkey, veggie, beef)
  • Minced up in omelets
  • Blended with a little olive oil and water for a roasted tomato sauce
  • In tacos
  • Sliced over salads

Storage
If you expect to use them in a weeks time, store in an air-tight container in the fridge.  To extend the shelf-time of your roasted tomatoes by a couple of months, generously cover the entire batch in olive oil.


1 comment:

  1. ...but your brother does like tomatoes...and these look great!

    ReplyDelete

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