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Sunday, May 2, 2010

DELICIOUS Oven Roasted Tomatoes (or how working brings out the Culinary in me...)


Feels great to work again...As I told my son, I missed taking care of my "Peeps"....


I am working so much (PRN, alas no full time position yet), at two different hospitals....I have to be careful not to "overbook" myself, as I did last week...This was my first day off for over a week...


After sleeping for most of the morning, I emerged an energy filled woman, ready to watch a couple of films that I recorded awhile ago, and cook at the same time...(have always loved to do this...)



I am feeling SO much happier since I am back to work, and when I am happy, I always feel like cooking...I also HATE anything frozen and/or basically anything less than wonderful....I have been known to cook, as I did last week, 6 different things in one day, just so we would have good things to eat in our fridge..


My son has been on a "working out and only eating healthy things" regimen for awhile now, so I do try to keep this in mind when I am planning what I will prepare...


I made a recipe today that was not only completely delicious, but easy and fairly economical...It filled my apartment with the smells of an authentic Italian kitchen, and that in itself was lovely....
You can make this all year long, and would be especially helpful in the winter, when tomatoes are really tasteless....


Oven Roasted/Dried Tomatoes

You can do this with big tomatoes, cut into quarters, but I like doing it with cherry tomatoes....They could be put on top of a pizza, scattered on top of a salad, used as a topping on a sandwich or panini, tossed with pasta, used with mozzarella, goat cheese, or French feta cheese for a great bruschetta, or just on their own...They are seriously addictive and versatile....

Oven 225 degrees

Use parchment paper on a big sheet pan...(If you don't use parchment, just make sure that you spray the pan or coat with olive oil, but parchment makes it so easy...)

Wash, dry, and half the cherry tomatoes...(about 2 pints or more if your pan will hold it..)

Place on large baking sheet, and scatter unpeeled garlic cloves around the tomatoes...

Drizzle all with olive oil (extra virgin is best, but the regular would do...)

Sprinkle with Kosher Salt (don't overdo that), and cracked pepper...

Take whatever dried Italian spices that you have and mix them together...(I used basil and oregano...Fennel would be nice if you had it...)

You will need 2 teaspoons of very fine spices, so take more than that, and with clean hands, use your fingers and turn the spices into a very fine powder...(If you have a mortar and pestle, it would be perfect for this, but I do not...)
Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the finely ground spices over the tomatoes...(I used a little cayenne as well for a kick...)

Bake these for about 3-4 hours, checking them after 3 hours, as you do not want them black all over...I cooked mine for 3 1/2 hours, but it will depend on their size...If you were to half and cook the grape ones, it would take less time....

These will keep for a few days, kept in a covered jar or container, covered in olive oil....Not sure that it will last that long though...The roasted garlic can be stored right along with the tomatoes...
These are perfect to make on your next day off...Make more rather than less....Enjoy