Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Melted Tomatoes

Also known as "tomato confit", these rank among my favorite cooked preparation of tomatoes. Simply core fresh tomatoes, then cut them into chunks. Toss the tomato chunks with some onion (or scallions or shallots) and/or fresh garlic, a drizzle of good olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. Throw them into a baking dish with some sprigs of fresh herbs (today's herb was thyme) and slide them into a 350ยบ oven for about 40-45 minutes. They'll be ready to eat when the flesh kind of collapses and the skins begin to blister. If you continue to cook them for a bit longer, maybe up to an hour total, the juices will evaporate some and they'll be especially savory. These make a fantastic side dish to most any dinner, or are quite good as your main dish with some crusty bread and a simple green salad. I've been known to eat an entire dish that way. Whe you're feeling adventurous, try them over pasta or polenta. If your tomatoes taste a bit too tart, don't hesitate to add a pinch of sugar or a little honey to take the edge off. Another thing I've done with my melted tomatoes is to run them through a food mill to make an incredible roasted tomato sauce. The possibilities are endless. Top them with some cheese during the last few minutes of baking. Crack a couple of fresh eggs on top of the tomatoes and continue baking until the eggs are set to your liking. After cooking and cooling your melted tomatoes, chop them to make a delicious salsa or topping for bruschetta. OK, now go melt some tomatoes.

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