Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tomatoes!!! Pt. 1

It's August, and in Virginia tomato season is in full swing. I've been snacking on my little pear yellows for a couple weeks now, and my beefsteaks are finally ripening enough to bring them in. This week however my farmer gave me a huge box of what she's been growing. We had some weird mix up with someone picking up my CSA share this week, leaving me with a half share instead of a full. She made it up to me by giving me this huge box of tomatoes.

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She had suggested I try roasting some of them. Just to have some different twists on things. So that's what I ended up doing first. I googled some recipes, but none seemed accurate, so I'll share with you what I learned. First of all, I sifted through the box, and dug out all the Roma tomatoes. They are little skinny tomatoes, that are typically used for spaghetti sauces, pastes, etc. I'm not italian in the least, so forgive me for my Virginia girl rendition of what to do with tomatoes.

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If you take a close look at these pictures, not all these tomatoes are perfect. That's ok!! Cut out any yucky spots and cook them anyway. I used two pans. One cookie sheet which really did the best job, and then an oven safe frying pan took the leftover tomatoes. I rubbed both down with olive oil, then lined the tomatoes on their backs, pulp/seeds up. Some websites mentioned flipping them, I did not and they turned out fine. I then sprinkled dried herbs on them. Rosemary, Basil, and Thyme. My favorite ended up being the ones with only rosemary on them. I bet if I had fresh rosemary that would have been great too. I also put sea salt and freshly ground pepper on them. Go easy on the salt. These tomatoes really pack a huge flavor when they're done, so they don't need much help.

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After 7 hours at 225, I end up with what you see in the jar, and yes, that's all of the tomatoes. I also added garlic in there, and note, I did not skin the garlic. I just set them next to the tomatoes and roasted them. I haven't tried them yet, but from what I've read, they will be to die for. I'm a horrible photographer, so I took them outside in some natural light so you can see exactly how yummy they look. You want them to end up crispy, and not juicy. They can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week or two, and they can be frozen beautifully. I will be freezing about half of them. Next post will be about making spaghetti sauce. I feel almost silly posting that, but I have a huge box of tomatoes to go through! This was barely a dent.

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