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meatless monday: roasted tomatoes

March 5, 2012

Let’s start this Monday off with a little game of two truths and a lie. Guess which of these is my lie.

  1. Courtesy of a nasty case of jet lag, I’m a walking zombie today. Staring at my bedroom ceiling at 3:45 in the morning is not a good way to start off the week.
  2. Despite said jet lag, I’m still a-glow from one helluva vacation.
  3. I’m not even remotely upset to be back in winter weather after basking in 2 weeks of summer glow.

Tough one to spot, I know. So, while I would normally consider this a slacker post, my standards are a tad lower until I get back into the swing of reality and it seems only appropriate to post about tomatoes. We aren’t going to see beautiful ripe tomatoes for months around here, but having enjoyed amazing summer foods in Australia, I’m craving more.

It wasn’t until late last summer that I discovered the beauty of roasted tomatoes. In fact, Mr. KC and I have been surviving on remnants of roasted tomatoes that I canned at the end of the summer. But you don’t need summer tomatoes to make this. Roasting is the perfect way to bring out the best of the less-than-perfect tomatoes of winter.

roasted tomatoes

ingredients

  • tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • basil
  • garlic

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop tomatoes into uniform pieces. For reference, I would generally quarter my roma tomatoes or halve cherry tomatoes (you could even leave those whole if you wanted)
  3. Lay out tomato pieces in a uniform layer on a roasting pan and coat with a healthy drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle on coarse salt, add basil leaves and whole garlic cloves (you don’t even need to peel these)
  5. Roast in oven for about 25 minutes at which point, check in on these to see how they’re doing. You want them to look like they are on their way to being sun-dried tomatoes. I generally take mine out around 35-40 minutes, but like to start checking in on them earlier to avoid over-charring them.
  6. When ready, remove from oven and use as a side or topping for pasta (great with fresh mozzarella and some shredded fresh basil and arugula) or for whatever you would normally use tomatoes.
  7. Most importantly: make sure you don’t ditch those lovely roasted garlic cloves. They should be golden and soft. Mash them up with some butter and salt and you have the ideal topping for bread.

From the road

March 1, 2012

We are still on the road, but thought I would share a quick pic from this lovely country. From the hospitality to the food (oh, the food) this trip has treated us so very well. We are heading back to a rainy Sydney for one last evening of fun before embarking in the long flight home. Here’s to hoping spring will greet us when we arrive.

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spicy shrimp and arugula pasta

February 23, 2012

It seems only appropriate right now to share a recipe from a cookbook I purchased the last time I was in Australia. I say last time because Mr. KC and I are on a much needed holiday down undah. After an arduous 20 plus hours in Dante’s lost circle of hell (otherwise known as economy class on a United flight from SFO to Sydney), we’re finally taking in the sun, drinking wine at lunch and forgetting that we actually have to work for a living. Isn’t that what vacation is all about?

So, here’s a lovely recipe from one of my favorite Aussie cooks, Bill Grainger. Enjoy it with sunshine if you have it and even if you don’t, enjoy despite not having summer weather yet knowing that it’ll be here before you know it.

More to come when we’re back. Cheers, mate!

spicy shrimp and arugula pasta
From bill’s everyday food

ingredients

  • 250g/8oz linguine
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 small red chilies, finely chopped
  • 25g butter/2tbsps butter
  • 50g/1.5oz arugula washed and dried (estimate about a cup or so)

directions

  1. Cook linguine in salted water according to instructions
  2. Heat oil in large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add garlic and chilies, cook for another minute.
  5. Add butter and reduce heat to low.
  6. Add arugula and cooked linguine.
  7. Toss linguine through sauce until coated.
  8. Divide pasta between 2 bowls. Garnish with additional arugula.
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