I'm going to make this quick, because let's face it, I'm already behind in my reading for school, and I give myself another three hours before I start nodding out from my day of chasing 6th and 7th graders through the halls, trying to quell the urge to scream like a banshee and drag them by their hair back to class.
BUT in the name of justice, I couldn't possibly let another day go by without writing to you about what the Boyfriend says might be the best thing I've ever made (frankly I'm a little hurt being that it's like the simplest thing ever and I can't take any credit for the recipe). These slow roasted tomatoes are quite simply the essence of all that is lovely about a tomato and I am totally enamored by them. They've made their way through the blogosphere (kill me if I ever use that word again), originating with an article in Bon Appetit by Molly, the author of Orangette, so I'm sure you've come across them at some point, but it is a CRIME that I haven't yet shared it here. I'm doubly guilty because I'm passing it on now, when the season of plum tomatoes is but days longer, and while the recipe claims you can use good quality canned tomatoes (which I will inevitably stoop to, since I can't possibly wait another whole YEAR before I make these again) it's really best with fresh, ripe, warm from the sun, tomatoes.
And so, I urge you, not just to absolve me somewhat of my guilt, to get thee to the farmers market, find some plum tomatoes, grab a baguette and some soft aged goat cheese, and slow roast like you've never slow roasted before. You will SO not be sorry.
Come to think of it, while you're at it you might as well do a whole farewell to summer vegetables feast (and invite me over). For the Boyfriend's recent birthday, before going to see ARETHA freakin FRANKLIN at radio city, we had a little tapas-style early dinner featuring some of the queens of summer. It made for a gorgeous celebration and lined our stomachs for the late night tacos and beer that followed.
There was: corn with feta and mint butter (I think I ate half that bowl), guacamole and chips, shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce, 'pimentos de padron' blistered in a pan with salt and lemon juice (one in ten is hot, so it's a fun game of russian roulette), a nice piece of gouda, and the onion jam I canned earlier in the summer. Oh, and a peach and blackberry cobbler. The birthday boy's gotta have something to wish on...
But, as always, it all came down to the tomatoes. So go. Now. Make these. And just try to tell me life isn't a leeeettle bit better for it. I rest my case.
Cafe Lago's/Orangette/Bon Appetit's
Pomodori Al Forno...
1 cup olive oil
2 lbs plum tomatoes halved lengthwise and seeded
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley (I like a little more)
Aged goat cheese
Preheat oven to 250. Pour 1/2 cup oil into a 13x9x2 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange tomatoes in dish, cut side up. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup oil. Sprinkle with oregano, sugar, and salt. Bake 1 hour. Using tongs, turn tomatoes over. Bake 1 hour longer. Turn tomatoes over again. Bake until deep red and very tender, transferring tomatoes to plate when soft (time will vary, depending on ripeness of tomatoes), about 15 to 45 minutes longer.
Layer tomatoes in medium bowl, sprinkling garlic and parsley over each layer; reserve oil in baking dish. Drizzle tomatoes with reserved oil, adding more if necessary to cover. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Cover, chill up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Would also be delicious over pasta, or pizza, or chicken, or an old shoe.