Remember that awesome line from the 80s, shouted out by the B-52s, “Tin Roof… Rusted.” That’s what I say now when I pick up one of those hot house tomatoes at the grocery store in the middle of Winter. Except, now I say, Tomato: Roasted.”
I say that in my head, not out loud, because the people in the produce department know me now… they point me out as the lady who can’t wait till she gets home to eat the radishes. As if they need something else to talk about.
When you’re eating “skinny” you must find a way to replace those fatty condiments… butter, the salad dressings, the mayonnaise. The Roasted tomato just may replace all of those unhealthy fats. You need more veggies… and something that will make you want more of them. The Roasted Tomato could be it for you.
Roasted is the only way to eat a tomato when you cannot find one fresh from the vine. Roasted tomatoes bring out a caramelization in the tomato that is “other-wordly”… and, they become “spreadable” and work their way into your food like a good mayonnaise.
Contrary to what you would expect… it’s really quite easy to roast a tomato. Normally, I just throw slices into an olive-oiled skillet and just fry them up… just with salt… until the edges turn nice and brown.
If I’m doing a big batch of them, I put them on a big sheet of parchment paper, coated with olive oil and sea salt, and stick them into the oven under the broiler for just a few minutes. If I have lots of time… I turn the oven up to 400, turn off the oven, and stick the tomatoes inside and let them sweat for an hour — or two. Just keep checking until the tomato is as soft, or as crispy, as you prefer.
I also learned a thing or two about dried Basil. Turns out, chefs like the stuff. I know — we’ve all heard that the only Basil worth eating is fresh, or in Pesto… but dried Basil, the kind you find in the grocery store in the bottle, is actually very good, and gives a nice finish to a roasted tomato…
Before indulging into your tomato, give it a splash of vinegar — or lemon juice. It needs some kind of acid — not sure why. But that is my preference… taste and experiment. Next, you can save your tomatoes to top an egg, or a sandwich, or a salad. Spread it around like butter. I keep a stash of roasted tomatoes in a mason jar in the fridge, and pull out exactly the amount I need. I find that the richness of the roasted tomato helps me avoid using salad dressings… the roasted tomato stands on its own as the perfect, low-fat condiment.