Monday, April 23, 2012

Roasted Tomatoes

  I've made this recipe a few times, but never wrote it down because I also changed it up some depending on what we had in the kitchen. Roasting helps bring out the flavors of whatever it is that you are cooking which is helpful if you have ever bought a few too many baskets of tomatoes at the farmer's markets and you really don't want to throw them away (or in our case, we feed them to our pig, Nola). Just this past weekend my mom & I purchased a 25lb box of tomatoes from a local co-op and we made a big batch of homemade tomato sauce for spaghetti. I'll talk more about the organization that runs the co-op, all the fresh food that they provide for a very low sum, & to see if you have one near you in my next post.

Chex playing with some food that feel out the the bag from the Co-op
  Roasted tomatoes are good as a starter, served on crostini with cheese, or as a quick spaghetti sauce that you can can to have a wonderful sauce all year along. I usually serve up these tomatoes with spaghetti and mix in a little pasta water and olive oil to make a quick sauce and serve it along with chicken. You could even add in a splash of cream, if you had it on hand, which we never do.

Roasted Tomatoes
                                              Created by Rayna of Curious Country Cook

3 tomatoes (I used off the vine), cleaned
3 tbsp Parmesan/Romano cheese blend, grated
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/2 lemon, zested & juiced
pinch of pepper
dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
a little sugar (see Notes)
1 - 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 450F and line a pan with non-stick foil.
2. Cut the tomatoes horizontally, into 1/2'' thick slices, and lay on the prepared pan. -Depending on the size of your tomatoes you may get 4 or more slices per tomato. 
3.  In a small bowl, combine the cheese, bread crumbs, oregano, pepper, and lemon zest. Sprinkle each tomato slice with an even amount of the cheese mixture. - I used about 1/2 tbsp per slice.
4. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over all of the tomatoes and squeeze some of the juice of the 1/2 a lemon you zested earlier on top.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes before switching your oven to Broil (500F) to get the cheese mixture golden & crispy, about 8 minutes or so.

-This is an acidic dish so if you want you can add 1/2 tsp or so of sugar to balance the acidity. 
-If you have any fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary, you can add some of that on the tomatoes to give it more flavor.

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