Friday, June 25, 2010

A Surplus of Food

This weekend my parents are going to Newfoundland. I am exceedingly jealous. I've wanted to go to Newfoundland for ages. Not only do they get to visit this beautiful province, a province with icebergs and old viking settlements, rife with its own unique culture and traditions, they get to go to something called a 'kitchen party.' I'm not really sure what this is, though they did explain it to me, but as far as I'm concerned any party that involves being in the kitchen is a good thing. Nothing but good food could abound.

Jealousy aside, they left me their surplus of perishable foods. Which leads me to today's subject: roasted tomatoes. Ever since setting eyes on this month's cover of Saveur magazine, I've been seduced by the prospect of roasted tomatoes. And yesterday I found myself with four ripe, plump tomatoes. Generally I don't really like tomatoes, so I don't buy them. But something about those tomatoes, sitting there on the magazine cover, drizzled with olive oil, their skins split open to reveal the juicy red fruit beneath, surrounded by cloves of garlic and sprigs of thyme. I was consumed by desire. I needed those tomatoes.

So today I popped them in the oven. There's not really a recipe to give you. I had four tomatoes, I put them in a pan with four whole cloves of garlic, drizzled them with a generous amount of olive oil, and seasoned them with a sprinkling of salt and herbes de provence. Then I roasted them in a 200F oven for 1 1/2 hours. The aroma was divine. It more than made up for the fact that the oven turned my apartment into a sauna.

I ate one of them with pasta and goat's cheese for dinner. It was delicious. The juices ran everywhere, sweet, offset by the salt and herbs, with just a subtle hint of garlic. The time in the oven alters them, deepens their flavour, transforms them from a humble fruit into something almost rich.

I am in love with roasted tomatoes. I am convinced that I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I may do just that. Breakfast: poached eggs on an English muffin topped with a roasted tomato. Lunch: Caesar salad topped with a chopped roasted tomato. Dinner: fried halibut with a puree of roast tomatoes. The goat's cheese pairs wonderfully with them, but I'll likely just eat the rest of them on their own. Reheat them in the oven and just dig in. But bread will be necessary for mopping up the excess juice. I can't let even one delicious drop go to waste.

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