Hello! I am back! I hope you didn’t think I’d disappeared or been taken or had gotten bored of blogging. I was just on a little break. I think everyone deserves a break, although I actually would have shared some recipes with you had I been in my own kitchen. I wasn’t, though, and it is too difficult figuring out someone else’s kitchen to seriously cook or bake. (Easy cooking or baking are definitely possible in someone else’s kitchen, like this.)
I was in France, and I ate more cheese in those two weeks than I think I’ve eaten in the preceding three months. I’m not quite sure if that’s an exaggeration or not– if it is, I’m positive that it’s only by a month. I knew I’d be eating a lot of cheese, but for some reason, it didn’t register prior to the trip how much it would actually be. After a week or so, I was a bit cheesed-out, so I cut smaller pieces, and my appetite for it came back.
I had been planning to bring cheese home, regardless of customs being okay with it or not (it’d be an experiment!), but I checked their website and it’s fine, so now there’s a little stockpile in the fridge that I’ve told Ben he has to savor, not devour.
With all the gluttony of the holidays and my vacation from cooking, I’m focusing on vegetables and simpler food right now, hoping that it’ll get me back into the swing of frequent cooking. So here is a recipe for one of the easiest things ever: roasted tomatoes. All you do is take some tomatoes that lack much flavor and that you would completely ignore during the prime of summer (which also happen to cost $0.99 year-round at the grocery store), slice them in half, toss them with some oil and seasonings and stick them in the oven for a long time. They’ll get shriveled and golden, and they’ll leave behind a little oil/juice syrup in the roasting dish.
Roasting lackluster tomatoes makes them extraordinary– you’ll be so surprised that a dry, flavorless tomato can become plump, juicy and bursting with flavor after a couple of hours in the oven. I like to eat roasted tomatoes plain, but they’re also fantastic in salads and on sandwiches. They’re best warm, and they reheat well, too. Roasted tomatoes are a pick me up when you begin to grow tired of winter produce and yearn for a remnant of the summer bounty.
Note: Preheating the oven is not necessary for this recipe.
1 to 2 glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
several springs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped (alternatively a few big pinches of dried thyme)
14 or so medium-sized Roma tomatoes (or whatever only so-so tomatoes you have), halved
1. In a large glass casserole dish, stir together olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Toss in tomato halves.
2. Turn the oven to 350F, and bake the tomatoes for about 2 hours, until wrinkled, shriveled, golden and absolutely delicious. Use immediately or let cool and refrigerate for later in the week.