For the millions (nay, trillions) of you who read this blog, this post was slowly cultivated, after weeks of consideration, hours of roasting, minutes of salivating. It seems like an appropriate first post after a 1 month hiatus. These tomatoes are so…. slow.
I recently made a purchase on Amazon for which Christian has mocked me incessantly. I bought Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook. (I can hear the snickers from here, people of the internets!) While there’s nothing particularly ingenuous or inventive in it, I do like that most of the recipes are healthy and focused on fresh ingredients. They’re also simple enough that I could easily make most of them on a weeknight after a long day of teaching. While the cloying narratives that precede each recipe grate on the nerves, she seems earnest, and the recipes work really well. I truly like this cookbook.
The first recipe I made from the book was the simplest. We used these tomatoes on a pizza (see below), in a frittata, and had there been leftovers, I would’ve added them to a grilled cheese sandwich. They’d also be delicious in a simple pasta sauce, omelet, salad, or soup. Completely versatile, and they last in the fridge up to a week.
The slow roasting brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes that I’d never tasted before. Truly delicious. Even Christian cut out the mockery when he tasted these.
PS- Now that I’m finally back to this blog, I have so many recipes to share: asparagus with fried eggs and toast, broccoli and lemon pasta, blackberry muffins. Stay tuned.
vine-ripened tomatoes (use a bunch, since they last a while!)
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally. Rub with a tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake seed side up for 3-5 hours, or until they look nearly sun dried. The edges will be caramelized and the moisture will be almost entirely evaporated. Make a bunch at once!
What peaches and what penumbras!
shopping at night!
Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the
avocados, babies in the tomatoes!
peonies at pike place
In these lines above from “A Supermarket in California” (1955), Allen Ginsberg perfectly captures what I love about markets: their ability to bring people together and serve as a basis for a community. Ever since I stepped foot in a market in Barcelona, trapped between two tall women with bags of bananas and mint, I knew markets were for me. You feel the food; you can’t help but collide with those around you; if you’re lucky you meet the woman who grew the apple you’re holding in your hand. I love that. There’s something messy and tangible and tactile about markets that you simply won’t find in a supermarket.
Aside from rare fruits and vegetables, I love to buy tomatoes to roast. Sweet summer tomatoes roasted to perfection are one of the loveliest parts of summer, and they’re incredibly versatile and simple to make.
Roasted tomatoes can be served on top of toasted baguette slices as an appetizer, tossed with pasta and fresh basil, or served as a side dish.
Here’s my favorite way to roast tomatoes. It’s close to my mom’s recipe, though she uses cherry tomatoes. Feel free to use either, but make sure all cherry tomatoes pop before you remove them from heat; the pop signifies their “doneness.” Happy summer, everyone. Enjoy what the season has to offer! lv, molly
6 medium tomatoes (or 1-2 cartons of cherry tomatoes)
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with thyme and crushed garlic. Drizzle with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the tomatoes soften and their skins split; this usually takes about 25 minutes. See above for serving suggestions!
market in Barcelona
Smitten Kitchen, I adore you. I adore your photos, your recipes, your charming commentary about how your macaroni and cheese may ruin my perfect bikini bod.
Enjoy this recipe, lovelies… From Gourmet Magazine via Smitten Kitchen. xo-m
Pearl Couscous with Olives & Roasted Tomatoes
Makes 6 servings
For roasted tomatoes and dressing
2 pt red grape or cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 lb)
3 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 1/4 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Roast tomatoes and make dressing.
Preheat oven to 250°F.
Halve tomatoes through stem ends and arrange, cut sides up, in 1 layer in a large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pan. Add garlic to pan and roast in middle of oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around edges, about 1 hour. Cool in pan on a rack 30 minutes.
Peel garlic and puree with oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes in a blender until dressing is very smooth.
Make couscous: Bring broth to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan and stir in couscous, then simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.
Spread couscous in 1 layer on a baking sheet and cool 15 minutes. Transfer couscous to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients, dressing, roasted tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.
Do ahead: Roasted tomatoes, dressing, and couscous can be made 1 day ahead and kept separately, covered and chilled. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.