The day before yesterday, I had lunch with one of my friends at my favorite little local deli. Aaahhhh, summer ... I love that it gives me the opportunity to lunch with friends! And I love that it gives me the opportunity to frequent my favorite little deli. I would go every day if I could, I swear. Their salads and sandwiches are soooo yummy, with not-your-ordinary ingredients and flavor combinations. Not that there's anything wrong with a regular ol' turkey sandwich with some lettuce and tomatoes on it ... but, oh how I love things to be a bit more zippy than that.
One of my favorite not-so-ordinary ingredients at the deli? Roasted tomatoes! In their sandwiches ... on their salads ... in their wraps... Not just sliced fresh tomatoes. Seasoned and roasted fresh tomatoes. Little hunks of tomato heaven, if you ask me.
So, can you guess what I got for lunch?
Uh-huh ... something with roasted tomatoes! A big ol' Mediterranean salad with big ol' hunks of delicious roasted tomatoes, to be exact.
One day when I was at said little deli, they just happened to be preparing several huge pans of tomatoes for roasting. So I watched. (Of course I did!) And I thought ... hey, I can do that!
And I did.
Now I can prepare my own little hunks of tomato heaven. And here's all you do ...
Cut some fresh tomatoes into thick slices and/or pretty sizeable hunks, like this:
As you can see, I wasn't real precise about my cutting. Some are in thick slices, some are in hunks ... quarters for medium-to-small tomatoes and eigths for larger tomatoes. I don't bother to totally seed the tomatoes, but if you happen to run across a large pool of seeds, it's best to take them out. I just flick 'em out with the tip of my knife.
Toss the tomatoes with olive oil and then season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh garlic, and some basil and oregano.
Lay the tomatoes out in a single layer on a foil-lined pan and ...
... roast them in the oven for about 45 minutes.
And, voila! ... easy home-roasted tomatoes for your sandwiches, salads, or wraps.
Or, just use them to whip up a quick sauce for pasta. This is one I whipped up on the fly one evening after roasting some tomatoes. I sauteed a little garlic in olive oil, then tossed in some roasted tomatoes, kalamata olives, and capers. Next, I poured in a bit of white wine and let it all simmer together for about 20 minutes. Oh. My. Goodness. It was delicious! And so simple.
So, go ahead. Roast up some of those oodles of tomatoes you've got coming out of your garden and see what wonderful things you can whip up with them. I'd love to hear what you come up with!
But don't worry favorite little deli ... just because I can whip these up at home doesn't mean I'll come see you any less.
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Source: Inspired by H&M Deli, Cramerton, NC
Please note, this is more of a method than a specific recipe. Amounts are not specific, and vary with the amount of tomatoes and to personal taste.
Tomatoes, thickly sliced or cut in hunks (or, halved grape or cherry tomatoes)
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh garlic, minced
1. Place cut tomatoes in a bowl; toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little sea salt, black pepper, basil, and oregano. Toss to coat. Add minced garlic; toss to coat.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Lay tomatoes in a single layer on baking sheet. Do not crowd the pan.
3. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 45 to 60 minutes. (Mine are usually done pretty close to the 45 minute mark, but some tomatoes could take a bit longer.)
Use in sandwiches, salads, wraps, and sauces.