Saturday, May 22, 2010

Giddy With Anticipation

So, I went on a Caribbean cruise a few weeks ago and it was gloriously hot and sunny and wonderful. I love Love LOVE hot weather; so maybe living in Canada isn't exactly the best choice climate-wise. It's now the middle of May and I've spent the last two weeks cursing our building for shutting the heat off the weekend we came back as it during a warm spell, but then the temperature plummeted immediately afterward. I've been sleeping in fleece pajamas ever since. FLEECE.

Anyway, the weather seems to (finally) be creeping back into the twenties and I'm getting so excited for summer. Not only for the warm weather but also for the produce that will soon be available at the farmer's market. CORN. PEACHES. And TOMATOES!

You can obviously buy tomatoes year round, but they're so depressingly flavourless in the winter that sometimes I wonder why we even bother. They're nothing like the summer tomatoes that are so plump, juicy and delicious you can just eat them plain with a little sprinkling of salt and be in heaven. Or with some buffalo mozzarella for a nice Caprese salad. Drool.

Laura and I helped her mom make some delicious oven-roasted tomatoes at the end of last summer with the multiple bushels they had gotten from a local farm. They were sooo good and froze very well. The combination of garlic, basil and the oven created a delicious concentrated and caramelized flavour that was amazing in sauces, pizzas and whatever else you might use tomatoes for. I think that this summer we'll have to make some more so that I can have delicious tomatoes for recipes all winter long. Brilliant!

Note: If you are wondering why the photos in this post are not the usual level of pathetic photography that I tend to put out, it's because these were taken by Laura with her much, much better camera and photography skills in general. Thanks Laura!

Another Note: This is a sketchy recipe. We DID use a recipe from a book, but lost it so I'm really just guessing here. But oven roasting tomatoes isn't exactly rocket science. See conversation below re: the lost recipe...

Laura: my mom says she doesnt remember the tomato recipe
but its just like cut up tomatoes, deseed, cover in olive oil, basil and garlic

20 minutes
3:02 PM me: damn
yea, i know the basics but i like to have a recipe
3:03 PM does she know what temp/time?

36 minutes
3:39 PM Laura: roasted... i imagine hot
for twenty minutes
till they are roasty

So yea. I'm pretty sure we actually baked them for longer than 20 minutes. There are also many recipes for slow roasting tomatoes in the oven. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what the main differences are. I imagine slow roasting would build up more caramelized flavour and intensity but I had absolutely no complaints on these ones either.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Tomatoes (we used Plum tomatoes)
Fresh Basil
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit

1. Cut off tops of tomatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Use a paring knife to remove seeds.

2. Mince garlic and chop up basil.

3. Lay tomato halves on a baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on garlic, basil and salt and pepper. I'm sorry I can't tell you how much, just don't use too much salt and pepper as the other ingredients will release plenty of flavour during baking.

4. Bake for 40 (or possibly 20) minutes until tomatoes start to look wrinkled, or "roasty".

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