Monday, March 30, 2009

Roasted Tomatoes!

Is it really any wonder Italy's colors are Red, White and Green?
(They are, aren't they?)
This salad is the cure while we wait for really flavorful tomatoes to appear in markets and gardens around town. I made lots of extra tomatoes to keep on hand beyond what I used for this salad. They are quick and easy to prepare (well except for the two hours roasting) and keep well in frig. I got the tomato recipe straight from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) one of my favorite Food Network Chefs. I have all her cookbooks too. The photos are truly works of art! (You know you are a true foodie- when you check out cookbooks and consider it art.)
So this salad is two twists on your typical “Caprese Salad.” One, the tomatoes are roasted and two, it’s a spinach salad underneath.... But other than that... That's what this is.
So for the Tomatoes:
Plum or Roma’s work best. Wash and cut in half lengthwise. With your thumb remove the seeds and fibers from the inside leaving the core or spine. I also trim the part where the stem attached. I place them face down in a colander to make sure all juices have drained out while I continue cleaning out remaining tomatoes.
On a baking sheet which I prefer to line with parchment paper, place the tomatoes with their open sides up. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Also drizzle with balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar. This is all 'to taste,' but I've found the sugar is important to the flavor. (You’re not coating them, just make sure you hit each tomato with some each of the salt, pepper, and sugar) And, ta-da, you are ready to roast 275 degrees, for 2 to 2.5 hours. Let cool thoroughly before storing. They can be used slightly warm if going directly onto this salad.

The Salad:
Roasted Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Basil
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Worchestershire Sauce
Salt* and Pepper**
It’s really just a matter of assembling. I dress the spinach lightly with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, worchestershire. Mix lightly, taste. If you like it, place it on tray or in bowl. Layer in the mozzarella, tomatoes, basil. Drizzle a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, S& P over top and serve. Best served room temp for flavors to excel!!

*Salt – anytime I ever say ‘salt’ I mean coarse kosher salt.
**Pepper – anytime I ever say ‘pepper’ I mean fresh ground pepper.

Bon appetit.


Marge said...

I am going to make this tomorrow. Tonite we are having Jerk Chicken.

Betsy5 said...

Jerk Chicken sounds good too. Make extras on the tomatoes, they go quickly. They make a great sandwich with sliced mozzarella too, according to Dick.