“You know, when you get your first asparagus, or your first acorn squash, or your first really good tomato of the season, those are the moments that define the cook’s year. I get more excited by that than anything else.”
- Mario Batali
I’m having a groovy kind of love moment with tomatoes. Which isn’t weird because I’m from New Jersey. Forget what you heard, Jersey tomatoes are the best. Yes, they are. It is a little weird because the season is over. It’s like the nostalgia of fall whispered in my ear and teased me about summer ending.
No fair. At the grocery store tomatoes were on sale. Score. Summer tomatoes and fall cooking techniques. Ha, take that. Oneika – 1 Nostalgia – zip.
I knew instantly I wanted to slow roast a bunch and then make recipes that used them. This is the single best way to eat healthy and on the cheap. Buy veggies in bulk that are on sale and discover 100 ways to cook them. Don’t know a hundred ways? Well, that’s why you’ve got me. Slow roasting your own tomatoes are even better than the kind you can get in cheese shops or specialty grocery stores. Don’t get me wrong a pantry full of all kinds of unique goodies is my food fantasy. Great condiments can help you throw together a meal in an instant. Slow roasted mushrooms and artichoke hearts- toss with pasta or throw some on bread and in the panini grill and you are golden. However, jars of little gourmet goodies can get expensive. So, make your own. Go crazy and do a bunch. Jar them and you can create your own version of condiment nirvana (Stay tuned…).
- tomatoes – I bought a mix of tricolor with a few heirloom tossed in but cherry or plum tomatoes would work well.
- olive oil
- garlic cloves
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees
- Cut all tomatoes in half
- Arrange and garlic cloves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper flesh side up
- Drizzle with olive oil
- Sprinkle sea salt and fresh pepper ( I really wouldn’t add any other spices, I love the tomato flavor. But if you must…)
- Roast for 2.5 – 3 hours
I could go on and on about slow roasted tomatoes (as we know I tend to go on when I get in a passionate mood) but the fab thing about these are the versatility and the taste. Yeah sure pasta and sauce can be dinner. But sometimes you want to ‘dine’ at home. This definitely gives pasta restaurant flair. And as I mentioned you can use these on pizzas, sandwiches, mixed with brown rice…the possibilities are endless. Groovy.
I tossed the roasted tomatoes with whole wheat pasta, fresh pasta, basil, olive oil, Meyer lemon juice (or a squeeze of fresh orange juice) and black pepper. I also mashed up the roasted garlic cloves. I added some to the pasta and the rest went with the extra leftover tomatoes. Garnish with shredded asiago and a a smidge of lemon (or orange) zest.
This is perfect for a Friday family style meal or a casual dinner with friends. You’ll look like a rock star chef. It’s all happening.