Friday, July 30, 2010

Tomatoes and Garlic and Basil, Oh my!!

Tis the season for tomatoes! I love this time of year. To me there is absolutely nothing better to eat than a homegrown tomato still warm from the sun! But here's where I'll make a confession: I've never actually grown any tomatoes. My husband and I tried once. Our plant thrived until some sly critters enjoyed the fruits of our labor. Our house backs up to a wooded area so the wildlife sometimes gets to enjoy our yard more than we do. But never fear...I have friends and family that are successful gardeners! (image courtesy of flickr.)

My good friend, Mari, has had an amazing crop of Roma tomatoes this year as well as a lot of basil. And like good friends with gardens do, she shared them with me. While I'm happy just eating the tomatoes as is, sprinkled with a little sea salt, I decided to try something I've had at various parties and something I see a lot of in magazines and cooking shows when tomatoes are in season:

Roasted Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic.

I made sure I had:

roma tomatoes
fresh basil
a head of garlic
olive oil
kosher salt
crackers or chips
cheese of your choice

(and a kid who must sample everything.)

I sliced the tomatoes lengthwise. Here's where I have to put in a plug for the Pampered Chef tomato knife. No...I'm not a consultant trying to make a sale. I just think that this knife is really awesome!

After preheating the oven to 275, I got out my extra large casserole dish.
I laid out the tomatoes,
threw in a handful of basil leaves and
scattered a head of whole garlic cloves.
I sprinkled everything liberally with kosher salt
and gave it all a few grinds of pepper.
Lastly I drizzled it all with olive and tossed it around to make sure everything was evenly coated.

Now here's where I change things from most of the recipes I found online. Instead of leaving it uncovered, letting everything get caramelize and chewy, I covered the pan with foil.

And the slow roast begins. Let this baby simmer for 5 to 6 hours on low heat, 250 or 275 F.

And here's what you get. Not quite as pretty as the "before" picture but believe me when I tell you what it's lacking in appearance will definitely be made up in taste!

Now get yourself some toast points, pita chips, bagel chips or make your own crostini.
Layer some mozzarella (or goat cheese would be good too), a roasted tomato and a clove of garlic and go for it!
Crazy delicious!
The roasting makes the tomatoes so incredibly sweet!

Enjoy!! I think I'll go have some more....

1 comment:

  1. looks so yummy! I think i'll make those this weekend.