Daily Archives: 5 August 2011

French Fridays with Dorie: Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie has the most benign name: Slow-Roasted Tomatoes. Sounds innocuous, right? It’s peak tomato season, so it sounds like an excellent choice to try this week. The name, though, slow-roasted tomatoes, makes it sound like nothing special. So misleading…

Before

This recipe is dead simple to make. The only “difficulty” is planning ahead for the three hours they spend slow roasting. You start with a pint of cherry tomatoes. Because it’s early August, I picked up a pint of freshly picked cherry tomatoes at the farmers market. You cut them in half, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and daub them each with some extra virgin olive oil. Sprigs of fresh herbs and some smashed garlic cloves join the tomatoes on the pan and in the oven it goes – for three hours.

After

Within the first half hour, whiffs of herby goodness started to escape from the oven. It only got better after that. At the end of three hours, the plump tomato halves had shriveled into moist unassuming dollops. I tasted one right out of the oven. The sweet concentrated tomato flavor was amazing. I think it can be described best as Tomato Candy!

Dorie suggests these can be served as a condiment. I used mine in an orzo salad where I usually use sun-dried tomatoes. The slow-roasted tomato morsels give it a different twist – a much brighter summery flavor.

Needless to say, I loved this recipe. It’s a winner in every way. Though cherry tomato season is fleeting, I can imagine that the ever-present grape tomatoes, available year-round, will be transformed by this treatment. That means, I can slow roast tomatoes all year long!

You can find recipe for this and other delicious dishes in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. I make a new recipe from the book each week along with a wonderful group of intrepid bloggers from French Fridays with Dorie. You can check the LYL (Leave Your Link) post for Slow-Roasted Tomatoes on the FFwD site to see what they thought about this week’s recipe.

Here’s my recipe for orzo salad. I recommend chopping the red onion first and soaking it in cold water in the fridge while you prepare everything else. Drain right before adding to the bowl. It cuts the sharpness of the raw onion. (A little tip I learned from Dorie!)

Orzo Salad

½ lb orzo
½ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup olives, pitted and coarsely chopped (I used Picholine, use whatever you like. I’ve also made this with Nicoise and Kalamata)
½ cup slow-roasted tomatoes
1½ Tbsp drained capers
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook the orzo according the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Combine orzo, onion, olives, tomatoes, and capers in a large bowl. Whisk together oil and vinegar. Stir dressing into pasta salad and season with salt and pepper to taste. It might not need any salt because of the olives and capers.

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