Back on Tuesday, when I wasn't doubled over trying to forcibly expel my lungs from my body 500 times a day, that day when the house didn't look like this:
...yeah, that last day when I felt I could tackle a project...that dayI succumbed to my tomato craving.
It hits about this time every year. I start dreaming of those tiny grape ones fresh off the vine. BLTs with a HUGE slice of heirloom T. Big bowls full of tomatoes and basil tossed with some great olive oil and syrupy balsamic. SIGH, what's a gal to do in January in Minnesota?
Nab a bag full of the pathetic pale pink excuses for plum tomatoes gracing the local produce section and f ire up the oven...that's what.
Confused? Don't be. I am here to share the mid-winter key to the tomato-y goodness of your (erm..or perhaps only my) dreams.
Here's what you need: several pounds of plum tomatoes, a head or two of garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt/pepper and a roasting pan.
Here's what you do: roast them. Set your oven to 275ish degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the tomatoes into quarters length-wise. Scoop out the seeds. Throw those away. Put the tomatoes in the roasting pan. Peel a head or two of garlic. Leave the cloves whole. Put them in the pan with the tomatoes. Toss with a couple of chugs of good olive oil, a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. Salt and pepper to taste. It will look something like this:
Put the pan in the oven. Check on it in an hour or so. Give it a nice stir. Talk lovingly of it's grand aroma. Pop it back in the oven for another hour or so. Try not to salivate all over yourself. Stir it again. Continue until it looks something like this: (really, this takes hours and hours and hours)
The tomatoes will be very shriveled. The garlic will be lusciously golden. They both will be coated with a thick, syrupy sauce. What you have now is a big pan of caramelized tomato/garlic heaven to toss with pasta, dress a bowl of arugula or adorn thick slices of crusty bread. Buon appetito!