Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World's best tomatoes

I love Ina Garten (also known as Barefoot Contessa.)

I've made several of her recipes- but there is one that stands out above the rest. A recipe so good, it will make you want to cry tears of joy. I've made it several times - for various events, cookouts, parties and more. It always gets rave reviews.

So without further adieu...

Ina Garten's Roasted Tomatoes

- 12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds, not cores, removed

- 4 tablespoons good olive oil

- 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

- 2 large garlic cloves, minced

- 2 teaspoons sugar

- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Arrange tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the garlic, sugar, salt and pepper over the tomatoes. Roast for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes are concentrated and beginning to caramelize. Top with julienned fresh basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
3. Cry because they are the most delicious tomatoes you've ever had.

I watched Ina make these tomatoes on her show, and she mentioned that she loves them so much because you can make them year around. Even in the off-months where tomatoes don't taste as bright and fresh, this method of baking them really concentrates the flavors.

When I make these, I layer them between nice slices of fresh mozzarella with lots of fresh basil on top. It makes the most gorgeous caprese salad - and people will go on and on about what an amazing cook you are. So if you're invited to a July 4th cookout - bring these tomatoes along. I promise they'll be a hit.

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