Friday, August 26, 2011
Tomatoes Roasted with Garlic, Basil, and Balsamic Vinegar
Some friends treated me to dinner last Saturday at the Turkish restaurant "Anatolia", over in Lion's Head. We all had baby lamb chops, and to thank my friends I gave them this dish.
The prototype for this recipe, which I have been making for a decade, is from Patricia Well's "At Home in Provence". Wells has been a restaurant and food critic for the International Herald Tribune, and a cooking teacher.
She does not use garlic in her version. I do. I also used balsamic vinegar in place of red wine vinegar. And my friends told me they loved the sauce so much that they sopped it up with bread.
The key to making this is to sear the sliced tomatoes on both sides in a very hot pan with a small amount of sea-salted olive oil. The tomatoes will begin to blacken slightly on each side. Use a slotted spatula to transfer them to a baking dish. Deglaze the pan with a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and scrape it and the brown bits and olive oil over the tomatoes. Put some very finely diced garlic on each tomato slice, sprinkle with a little sea salt, then scatter chopped fresh basil on top. You could also sprinkle the tomatoes with some Herbs de Provence. Bake for ten minutes or so at 400 until the herbs are crisped . As the picture shows, I used only one very large Amish raised heirloom tomato. One big tomato will serve two, but one could easily double or triple this for a crowd. I will be eating this with lamb with citrus sauce and roast potatoes. Wells suggests serving it with roast chicken.
This is a summer recipe, and now is the time to make it,. There are so many wonderful tomatoes out there-