Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Baked Tomatoes

Baking Dish of Baked Tomatoes
Whimsical Side Dish

Recipe adapted from Healing Foods

Sometimes I love it when I’m wrong. Like when I first read Miriam Polunin’s Healing Foods, and dismissed it because some of the nutritional information, from the carbo-loading era, was outdated. I did copy a few of the recipes before returning the book to the library, and throughout the years every one of the recipes I’ve tried has turned out fabulous. So, not only did I revise my review on Goodreads, I’m also going to order the book. Baked Tomatoes follow Carrot-Cilantro Soup, Golden Beet Soup with Herbs, and Healthy Polish Carrot Cake in the string of hit recipes from this book. To try next: Veggie Chowder. If these recipes resonate with you, perhaps you’d like to treat yourself to this bargain price cookbook as well.

Adding Herbs to Tomatoes
This recipe is great for gardeners with too many tomatoes. The flavor is similar to my friend Barbara’s baked tomato sauce (same ingredients, doncha know) but it’s much quicker to prepare. It’s also easier to serve since they don’t require pasta, pizza, grains, or anything else specific to serve with them. Do take note of the serving temperature: warm, NOT hot from the oven. Tomatoes hold an amazing amount of heat, and the roof of your mouth will thank you for your patience.

Replace "Lids" Before Baking
Note that I used a variety of tomatoes from the garden. Not all require the same amount of baking. Next time I’ll separate the Early Girls (smallest) and Super Bush Determinate (medium red) into a different baking dish than the Heirloom (large). The Early Girls got a little soft, but that didn’t compromise their flavor.

Use any proportion of the three herbs listed, or whichever you have fresh on hand. You could also experiment with a small amount of fresh thyme, or oregano and marjoram.

Ms. Polunin tells us that tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which is retained in the cooking process. She also states that the recipe is easy and intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes. Correct on all points! Enjoy!

Garden Tomatoes and Herbs with Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt, and Pepper
Garden Fresh Ingredients
Baked Tomatoes
serves 4 – 6

Non-stick spray or olive oil
4 Heirloom or 8 garden tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 ½ tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
½ tbsp. finely chopped chives
large pinch of sea salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. olive oil, divided

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray baking dish with non-stick spray, or rub with olive oil. If your tomatoes vary greatly in size, use two small baking dishes to accommodate the different cooking times.

Turn tomatoes upside down and slice across each tomato about ½ inch from its base, to make a “lid.” Place tomatoes (without “lids) into baking dish cut side up.

Use a sharp paring knife to make a few crisscross cuts on the surface of each tomato. This allows the flavor of the topping to permeate.

To make topping: Peel garlic clove and squeeze through garlic press. In a small bowl, stir together garlic, chopped basil, parsley, and chives, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp. olive oil. When uniformly blended, spread evenly over tomato tops.

Put the “lids” back on the tomatoes on top of the herbs. Drizzle remaining 1 tsp. olive oil over the “lids.”

Bake on top rack of oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or slightly less if tomatoes are very small. When done, tomatoes will be soft but not collapsing.

Remove from oven and let rest until warm, about 10 minutes or more. Don’t serve them hot from the oven!

1 comment:

  1. Yep. Another very tasty dish. I wonder how they would take to being frozen and defrosted later.