Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Roasted Tomatoes with Shallots and Herbs

This time of winter is right about when I start to crave the fresh produce of spring and summer - veggies so bursting with flavor they require almost no alteration.  To satisfy a winter craving for tomatoes, try this easy recipe; the roasting intensifies and concentrates the flavor, so that you won't mind the fact that it's a winter-weary hothouse tomato, instead of one fresh off the vine.

  • 4 medium tomatoes (about 2 pounds total)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
1. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally, and core and seed the halves.  Sprinkle the cut sides of the tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt, then place, cut sides down, on paper towels; let stand for 20 minutes.

2. Place the tomatoes, cut sides up, in a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the shallots, the parsley, the oregano, the thyme, the rosemary, and the black pepper.  Drizzle with the olive oil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

The tomatoes are great alongside vegan chicken (whichever brand you like) or, if you're feeling adventurous, alongside the vegan fish fillets I've just discovered from a company called ecoVegan (pictured below).

Note: If the herbs at your market look just as winter-weary as the tomatoes, you can substitute dried herbs from your spice cabinet, in which case use 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary.  I do recommend seeking out fresh herbs, however, since they add a wonderful note of fresh flavor.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1 tomato half), Calories 38 

Tasting Notes:
These tomatoes are a great recipe to have in your collection for a simple weeknight, but not, perhaps, worthy of special occasions.  Rich, concentrated flavor from roasting brought out a surprising pop of sweetness in the tomatoes, and the herb mix was good though not extraordinary.  That said, I may revisit the recipe next week - I have a cold tonight which is dampening my taste buds.


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