Growing up in south Florida with a luscious garden in the back yard created an assortment of Mediterranean cuisine that graced our family dining table with a unique and unusual arrangement of fresh produce. Tomato’s had a constant presence in our home cooked every way one could imagine. If plucked from the garden or bought at our local market, it was prepared in beautiful dishes full of exotic flavors, vibrant colors and every shape imagined. My childhood is laced with these wonderful dishes and I cherish creating those recipes now as much as I treasured eating them in my youth.
I certainly know where I get my obsessions for this savory fruit… my lovely parents and I couldn’t be happier! Whenever I go to the market I’m always bringing home tomatoes knowing well there’s a basketful waiting for me at home. As I carry on the affectionate tradition every week, I’m sure to make a huge batch of these savory roasted morsels to indulge other dishes I’ll create this week and of course to share with the neighbors.
Here’s a spin of my mother’s recipe she calls, “salsa” with a heavy Greek accent and a twist of my own ingredients.
Here’s what you’ll need…
Tools: Roasting pan, Oven temp: 475, Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 1 hour
8 Tomatoes on the vine
1 Pint cherry tomatoes
1 Pint grape tomatoes
2 Ugly tomatoes
8 Plum tomatoes
2 Heirloom tomatoes
½ Cup tomato paste
¼ Cup olive oil
2 Cups chicken stock (vegetarians may replace with vegetable stock)
1Teaspoon coarse salt
1 Teaspoon pepper
1 Head of garlic
1 Bunch fresh basil
1 Bunch fresh oregano
1/8 cup of Braggs Liquids Aminos
2 Tablespoons of Tuscan Spice blend – I’m a huge fan of Victoria Gourmet brand
In the roasting pan add olive oil, chicken stock and Braggs Liquid Aminos and let stand. Chop onion, leek and shallot add to mixture. With a garlic press squeeze half of the garlic into the mixture and add the remaining cloves to pan. Chop fresh basil and oregano and add to mixture. Take the grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes add whole to the roasting pan. Take the remaining tomatoes (Heirloom, Vine, Ugly, and Plum) and cut in halves, if tomatoes are extra large cut in quarters add all the tomatoes to mixture. Take tomato paste and spread a thin layer on top of halved tomatoes, sprinkle Tuscan spice, salt and pepper a top. Cover with foil by tenting and place in oven and let roast for 1 hour. Check randomly to make sure tomatoes are roasting evenly or need to be stirred.
Once out of the oven you can use on pasta, for pizza or as a base ratatouille and add more vegetables like eggplant. I usually serve with pasta the first night and it’s one of my husband’s favorite. The remainder of the sauce I jar and use throughout the week for pizza, chicken Parmesan or as a dip for chips.
Whether “you say tomato, I say tomahto”, anyway you slice it or dice it, this recipe will bring out the pleasant sweetness of this fruit leaving you wanting more.