Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Melted Tomatoes

These taste AMAZING.
Melted tomatoes and ricotta on beer yeast bread. 

This summer was my first experience with home gardening--and it was fabulous. I have a year's worth of pesto in my freezer and am a master of no less than seven zucchini recipes (bread, latkes, crisps, pasta ribbons, ratatouille, nut muffins, fritters, strata). We love having a garden--a great way to shake the work-day out of your head is to come home and putz around out there for awhile, inspecting the plants, weeding, rearranging branches, etc.
Our tomatoes have been developmentally delayed--early squirrel attacks set them back a month--so ours are only maturing now--when there's already snow in Summit county! But better late than never. 
the garden
Now that the tomatoes are coming alive, I've been making tons of tomato salad, one of our all-time favorites. But I wanted to try something new, and I've been reading recipes here and there for "melted tomatoes" for years. 
And holy shit--these were UNREAL. Absolutely delicious. Fresh tomato x 100. Fruit-jammy and tangy and rich and deep.
The perfect dinner or lunch is to toast some good bread, spread with a thin layer of ricotta, and top with melted tomatoes and maybe a scattering of crunchy salt. Drink with wine.

How to Make Melted Tomatoes 
Chop some tomatoes into big chunks. Quarter big tomatoes or slice smaller ones in half. Spread into the bottom of a roasting pan, pie pan, or casserole. I don;t think the amount of tomatoes particularly matters--enough to cover the bottom of the pan, but if they fill the pan, that's fine.
Mince several (5?) fat cloves of garlic. Scatter over the tomatoes.
Add two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of balsamic. Toss everything together.
Place in a 210 degree oven for 8 hour, or a 225 degree oven for 5 hours. You could cook these overnight at 210.
Eat however you want! As a condiment on sandwiches, on salads, on top of meat, by itself.

Chopped tomatoes 
Ready for the oven 
Yummmm. Many hours later...

Put the finished tomatoes and all their juice into a tupperware or jar and refrigerate. Should last quite awhile. 

Melted tomato toasts. 

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