Monday, August 9, 2010

DIY: Roasted tomatoes

Summer is a hot and sticky time, and on those particularly sweltering days, I have a hard and fast rule: nothing that cooks for more than 10 minutes. There are lots of great options, including a no cook meal like cold cuts or salad. But by far my favorite recipe is roasted tomatoes.

First of all, I like to construct my meals whenever possible. This meal makes me feel like I am at a cocktail hour at a wedding. You take a slice of bread, layer it with mozzarella and roasted tomato, and boom, before you know it the whole thing is gone. It brings the table together, because everyone has common space and purpose, building great community.

Next, it cooks in 10 minutes. 10 minutes is still doable on a hot day, although I admit I crank up the AC before starting. 10 minutes is a blink of an eye, just shy of microwave efficiencies. Finally, 1o minutes is just enough time to slice the bread and cheese, clear and set the table, and yell at my kids.

Moerover, some would argue that a nice raw tomato salad beats that any day, and I hear that. I love a caprese salad. But the roasted tomatoes pack this incredible, juicy, flavorful punch that cannot be beat. Plus there is this texture thing happening, one that creates a unique mouth-feel that brings you back for more. The tomatoes become shrunken, wrinkly like fancy olives, and the skin becomes an asset to the fruit.

Now of course you can dress this up. Simply, using some basil leaves or oregano, even mint works. You can up the ante with some smoked mozzarella or Gouda. And you can certainly bake your own baguette, but that would violate the 10 minute summer rule and I have no patience for that. Any way you serve it, stay cool and enjoy every bite.

Roasted Tomatoes

2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and dried
olive oil to drizzle
salt and pepper
12 oz wet mozzarella cheese
1 baguette

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Scatter tomatoes on a broiler pan lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil and mix until coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
  4. Serve with mozzarella and baguette slices.

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