Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Quick Roasted Tomatoes with Basil and Goat Cheese

Quick Roasted TomatoesTomatoes are starting to ripen around here at a slow but regular pace, and we're rapidly approaching the season when my weekends will be consumed with making slow roasted tomatoes. If you've missed eating tomatoes that have been slowly roasted until they reach caramelized perfection, you may not realize what the fuss is about, but trust me; slow roasted tomatoes are not to be missed! Until I have enough tomatoes to make a batch of slow roasted ones, I'm pacifying my roasted tomato urges by making these quick roasted ones, very different, but still quite nice in their own way.

Quick roasting tomatoes can be a good way to add a bit more flavor to not-quite-in-season tomatoes. They're also a tomato dish that's a change from sliced tomato salads. Quite simply, they're tomatoes that are tossed with a bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dried herbs and then roasted at a high temperature for a few minutes. The timing is rather important here; too long and the tomatoes are too soft, almost mushy. You want to roast them long enough that the tomatoes are quite thoroughly warmed but not completely cooked. You can use fresh herbs if you have plenty, but since the herbs are ground and mixed with the olive oil and balsamic, I think dried herbs work very well here. The goat cheese and basil finish this off with a bit of extra summer flavor that really complements the flavor of the warmed tomatoes. Do check my recipe for slow roasted tomatoes and make some in the next month or so when tomato season is in full gear, but try these quick roasted ones in the meantime.

Use Roma or paste tomatoes for this, 3-4 tomatoes per person. You can peel them if you don't like the skin, but I didn't bother. Cut tomatoes in half down the middle and cut away any woody parts.

Use a mortar and pestle, grinder, or just a heavy glass to grind together dried fennel, basil, oregano and marjoram.

Then mix the spices with olive oil and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar and toss with the tomatoes until they are well-coated with herbs.

Roast tomatoes at 400 F for about 10 minutes, until tomatoes are warmed through and just starting to soften.

Quick Roasted Tomatoes with Basil and Goat Cheese
(Makes 2 servings, recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, inspired by Slow Roasted Tomatoes as well various recipes I've seen in other places, some of which are listed below.)

8-10 Roma tomatoes
1/2 tsp. ground fennel
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried Greek oregano
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1 T olive oil, plus a bit more to spray or brush roasting pan
2 tsp. best quality balsamic vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
about 2 T fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade strips (other chopped herbs could also be used such as oregano, tarragon, mint, or parsley)
2 T crumbled goat cheese (feta cheese would also be good here)

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 F. Wash Roma tomatoes, cut out stem and cut in half lengthwise. Cut away any pithy parts inside tomatoes. They can be peeled if desired. (To peel, plunge each tomato into boiling water for a second or two, then peel.) Put tomatoes into plastic bowl.

Grind together fennel, basil, oregano, and marjoram. Mix with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then toss with tomatoes in the bowl until tomatoes are well-covered with olive oil and herbs. (Add a bit more olive oil if you need it to cover all the tomatoes.) Place tomatoes on an oiled roasting tray, cut side up.

Roast tomatoes 8-10 minutes, until they are warmed through and just starting to soften. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes. Season tomatoes to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with goat cheese and thin strips of fresh basil or other herbs of your choice.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Roasted tomatoes like this are a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one, this would taste great with Pan-Grilled Steak with Olive Sauce or Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano. For phase two or three, add something like Basil and Parmesan Rice with Pine Nuts.

More Roasted Tomato Dishes to Savor:
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
How to Make Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Slow Roasted Tomato Hummus
Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes, Grilled Zucchini and Basil
Bruschetta with Roasted Baby Tomatoes from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Pasta with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes from A Veggie Venture
Roasted Tomato Bread Pudding from Stephen Cooks
Corn Pudding with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic Toast from Vanesscipes
Roasted Herb Tomatoes from Diane's Dishes
Roasted Tomato Sauce from Champaign Taste
Roasted Tomato Salad from Technicolor Kitchencounter customizable free hit
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  1. Kalyn, this is some delicious food!

    And I do love using my mortar and pestle, so I'm gonna make this soon!

  2. Ironically, I just wrote a post last night that began with slow-roasted tomatoes and goat cheese . . . and took a bunny trail into a piece on toasting the first day of the Sauvignon Blanc harvest ;-).

    I've got an article out in this month's Prevention Magazine (Sept) with a few more recipes with slow roasted tomatoes, you can click on it hereif you want to check it out. Thanks for the great recipes Kalyn!

    Lia Huber

  3. Man I wish I had some fresh tomatoes! Looks great. I've never made roasted tomatoes.

  4. The colours look amazing, and you've really convinced me to roast some tomatoes myself soon!

  5. That's it! That's the recipe I need since I'm reduced to store-bought tomatoes this year!
    A thousand blessings upon your house, oh great Kalyn!
    And, thanks...

  6. This is totally one of my favorites!
    Hooray! Just got an email from Penzeys that my order has shipped. I'm too excited but I do get excited pretty easy!

  7. Congratulations for your work, that is very good, and have a good month of vacation

  8. Patricia, me too on the mortar and pestle. I was sort of late to get one, so I'm making up for it.

    Lia, lots of great ways to use the slow roasted tomatoes.

    Kelly, get some tomatoes!!

    Pille, thanks, and they are so great!

    Katie, this will really help the store-bought tomatoes. And thanks for the blessings!

    Tanna, hooray, Penzeys on the way. I love it. Just saw a new seasoning yesterday (and I am trying not to buy anything!)

    Nicole, thanks!

    Bob, thanks, but I'm not going on vacation, not sure where you saw that. In fact in a week I have to go back to teaching school (boo hoo.)

  9. That looks really good. I am hoping there will be fresh local vine ripened roma tomatoes at the farmers market this weekend.

  10. That's such a pretty looking salad. I just made a sauce out of slow roasted tomatoes the other day & used it for my pasta. It was oh so good!

  11. These look divine, as do the slow roasted ones you posted. I couldnt believe how long the process seems to take, but I suppose that is what we have lost as we have left old traditional ways of preparing food, slow and fabulous flavor.

    Does it matter what KIND of tomato you roast? any particular recommendations?

  12. Kevin, hope so!

    TBC, I love slow roasted tomatoes in pasta sauce.

    TSG, definitely some type of Roma tomato is best for roasting.

  13. I make roasted toms with balsamic glaze on them. Fantastic.
    I love your picture - it looks delicious.

  14. lovely

    I had some tomatoes that were a bit past there prime so I used those with pasta and canned tuna (and onions, and leek, and feta, and basil, and some tomato-paste to make it a bit more like a sauce)

  15. Just as I'm getting ready for slow-roasting tomatoes, you come along with quick roasting! Of course I'll have to try this method, too. Thanks for another wonderful recipe.

  16. I have not tried slow-roasting tomatoes, but I have heard that it intensifies the flavor of even hothouse or not-quite ripe ones. Looks incredible!

  17. That's perfection, Kalyn! I would serve that at a party, but I bet I would eat them all before the guests arrived!

  18. now this just looks ridiculously good!!!

  19. Yum! I am just getting to reading this now....looks like our minds were on similar things this week!

  20. I've never roasted tomatoes before. Isn't that strange?!?!? I guess in Asian cooking we really don't roast tomatoes much.

    Well now I'd better try. I'm going to try the slow roasted method first.

  21. Hii, First time in your blog and loved it. All the salad recipe are so good. I have tried the Tomatoe and garbanzo salad and me and my husband loved it. Here is the link to my blog

  22. Absolutely dellicious

  23. Wazzup, great photo! Glad you liked it.


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