Thursday, January 14, 2010

Far-Away Tomatoes

Just now I realized I like most to cook when I am supposed to be doing something else, like showering. I just finished stretching after a run, I go into the kitchen and from the random dairy paraphernalia I left on the counter, I begin to cook.

I have the luxury at the moment of sharing food with four other people, two of which have a repertoire of food suspects fairly other than my own. One thing they always seem to have on hand is a little basket of those cute plum cherry tomatoes. I hardly ever have these in my own home because they seem frivolous and extravagant, even when they're in season around here. These little darlings are from Mexico. That would be far away, even from me in California. But as we see, I'm not exactly complaining. I am utilizing my resources. Organic resources. Right.

Since I don't usually buy them, I also don't usually roast them. I did today though. I miss out on a lot apparently. Even the big beauties from summertime never get the heat treatment because I've lived in Canada for nearly five years, and when I finally know summer has come, and when finally the tomatoes make their ruddy debut, all I want is tomatoes fresh and raw. They barely make it home from the farmer's market before I'm slurping the juices down. But enough of that! It is January and I should not be eating fresh tomatoes. It feels wrong. But I am doing it anyway. Because they are in my fridge. Because roasting out-of-season tomatoes in January feels more genuine than eating them tossed in a green salad (no offense mom).

What started as an fun mid-afternoon project soon became my dinner, as you can see I ate quite a bit of it. I think I will be roasting many, many tomatoes this summer, because the flavor is absolutely amazing--all the caramelized goodness of a sun dried tomato, but still with that fresh tomato taste too. I am learning many things. Who takes the time to slow-roast tomatoes? Me now.

Roasted Tomato Frittata
I obviously used fresh tomatoes, but if you are morally opposed to using such luxuries in the off season, substitute with some reconstituted sun dried tomatoes. The flavor is very similar. Cut them into thin strips. If served with some side veggie like kale with pinenuts, this could be consumed for a lovely dinner with two to three others, as long as they weren't as ravenous as I was when it was done.

1/2 cup plum tomatoes, cut in half
2/3 cup cottage cheese
2/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
few pinches of sea salt
fresh ground pepper

1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar
more basil ribbons for garnish

Coat tomatoes in olive oil and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes (depending on size), or until the room smells good and the tomatoes have a little toasty color to them.

Meanwhile, mix together the rest of the main ingredients. Butter or oil a 8 inch round baking dish. When the tomatoes are done add them and pour mixture into the prepared dish. Bake at 350 until the center is set, or about 30 minutes.

Serve with shredded cheese and more basil ribbons on top. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. i am not a big raw tomato eater, so slow roasting them is ideal. This whole combo looks great, all things i love ;) The quinoa in it would make it even more filling.