Tomato Heaven

September 9, 2008

I kind of have to credit Molly of Orangette fame for getting me into blogging. In spite of the fact that my husband works for a software behemoth, I am a little intimidated by the computer and the internet. I read Julie and Julia, which started out as a blog, and the whole time I was reading it, I wondered where one could find a blog. Really. I mean, I knew it was somewhere out there in cyber-space but…how to find it? To be fair to myself, I have spent the last almost four years dealing with pregnancy, nursing, hormones, diapers, sleep schedules, tears (my kids’ and my own), not to mention trying to cook, so I do forgive myself for not branching out that much.

Then Molly started writing a column in Bon Appetit and I just loved it. I loved how conversational she was and her obvious love of food was infectious. I mustered up the courage to type her blog address into my browser and nothing jumped out of my monitor to bite me! I devoured her posts and started browsing sites that she had in her blogroll (listen to me! how far I have come!) Soon, I realized that this would be a great outlet for me in terms of both cooking and writing.

Four months later, I am building my blog and I have to say, I still really enjoy Molly’s column in Bon Appetit. The recipe in the September issue almost made me jump off the couch – the most incredible appetizer from Cafe Lago in Seattle. We had just been there and had shared said appetizer and I was totally blown away by the incredible concentrated flavor of those tomatoes. I am usually a salad-as-a-first-course meal kind of girl, but I know what I am getting whenever we go back to Lago, and no Randy, I won’t share.

The beauty of this recipe is that, although the tomatoes take a while in the oven, it requires very little hands-on time. Their flavor gets more and more concentrated and more and more delicious while you are free to go about your day. I was a little close on time toward the end, so I just left them in a turned off oven and they turned out beautifully. Tonight, my clients will spoon them onto crostini spread with a soft goat cheese, then tuck into a Penne with Tomatoes and (Veg) Sausage served with Green Beans, Turnips, and Peas with Herb Vinaigrette.

Pomodori Al Forno
Bon Appetit Magazine
Serves 6

1 cup (or more) olive oil, divided

2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded

1/2 tsp. dried oregano
tsp. sugar
tsp. salt
1-2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. minced fresh Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pour 1/2 cup oil into 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange tomatoes in dish, cut side up. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup oil. Sprinkle with oregano, sugar, and salt. Bake 1 hour. Using tongs, turn tomatoes over. Bake 1 hour longer. Turn tomatoes over once again. Bake until deep red and very tender transferring tomatoes to plate when soft (time will vary, depending on ripeness of tomatoes, about 15-45 minutes longer.

Layer tomatoes in medium bowl, sprinkling with garlic and parsley over each layer; reserve oil in baking dish. Drizzle tomatoes with reserved oil, adding more if necessary to cover. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. Do Ahead: Cover; chill up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

1 Comment »

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