First, apologies for my absence on Wednesday. I had the flu (yuck) and thinking about food, looking at food, and most definitely eating food were all too much for my belly to handle. Yes, it was a travesty. But luckily, I’m on the mend and back to dreaming about low sodium cheese. And no, I’m not joking. I really did dream about a block of Helluva Good Cheddar last night. Don’t judge. I’m hungry.
So, to hop back into the low sodium saddle, I wanted to start with something simple, that wouldn’t upset my seemingly quieted stomach. And luckily I had some stock recipes up my sleeve.
A few weekends ago, I happened to be across the bridge at Cavallo Point – my personal heaven – on a day that their cooking school was offering a class called Sauced, which provided instructions on how to master four different rustic and traditional tomato sauces, all while pouring endless glasses of Italian wine. Very clever. Very appreciated.
While I’m saving the more detailed recipes for a later date, one continues to stick out in my mind. It was simple (almost mindless) to make and yet, it packed a boatload of savory, lip-smacking flavor, without needing salt.
What was it? Slow roasted tomatoes. Yes, the gorgeous halves of ruby red, veggie fruit that you see above were simply sprinkled with crushed black pepper, crushed garlic, some herbs (thyme and rosemary), and olive oil. They were then left to roast in a steamy oven (250 degrees) for almost three hours, during which their natural flavors became more robust. Just like a strong, Italian stallion.
The team at Cavallo’s Cooking School suggested that we use these tomatoes as a pizza sauce (merely spreading it into dough), chopped up and added to other tomato sauces (providing a smoky flavor), or laid expertly on top of small toast points for a poor man’s bruschetta (with a super rich taste). Or, in my opinion, you can simply pop them in your mouth and call it a day, because they are nature’s roasted candy and they are delicious.
So if you are harvesting some of summer’s last heirlooms or any other strain of succulent tomato, throw on the oven and get roasting. And don’t be shy. Cook up a huge pan of them and see how many ways you can use them to spice up your meals next week. As I always say, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. But when it comes to tomatoes, roast a big batch.