*Photo and Content Updated May 2012*
Inspiration: This past Sunday was one of those lazy, stay in bed watching TV mornings for me. I turned on the Food Network and was happy to catch some of my favorite shows (Giada, Barefoot Contessa, Bobby Flay) that I never seem to be able to watch anymore because they’ve all been replaced by endless hours of cake competitions. Ina Garten was preparing a caprese salad using roasted tomatoes, and they just looked so fabulous that I knew that I had to give them a try soon. I happened to have a bunch of tomatoes in the fridge last night and no other vegetable to serve with my lemon pesto swordfish, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to try these out.
What we Loved: These tomatoes had a lovely rich and sweet flavor. Not only does the balsamic vinegar contribute to that great sweetness, but roasting the tomatoes in the oven really just brings out their natural sugars. Combined with the savory elements of garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, we couldn’t get over how intensely flavorful these tasted. Warm, sweet, garlicy, and rich, a little bite of these tomatoes went perfectly atop a piece of swordfish with pesto and pinenuts.
Helpful Hints: This recipe is fairly straightforward, but I will say that I think you can be liberal with the amounts of seasonings and oils that you use. I didn’t measure anything but basically drizzled/sprinkled on what I thought looked good, and the tomatoes turned out great. Next time, I think I’ll use even more balsamic vinegar, because I really loved the flavor that it gave the tomatoes. Also, the easiest way to remove the seeds from the tomatoes is the way that I saw Ina do it on her show. Simply slice the tomatoes into quarters, and use your fingers to scrape out all of the insides.
Source: Adapted from Ina Garten
As I noted above, I think it basically works to use as much or as little of each of the ingredients as you’d like. If you’d like precise measurements, please see Ina’s original recipe.
Tomatoes, cut into quarters with cores and seeds removed
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1. Preheat the oven to 450.
2. Arrange the tomatoes on a foil-lined sheet pan, cut sides up and in a single layer. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper, and Parmesan.
3. Roast the tomatoes for 25-30 minutes, or until the flavors are concentrated and the tomatoes are beginning to caramelize.