Apron Free Cooking ~ Too Many Tomatoes? Never!
By Noel Lizotte
Some of you may remember that I mentioned this spring I was planting a vegetable patch. It’s no way near a garden. I’ve learned that Farmer’s Markets and the grocery produce section are a much better way for me to get garden style vegetables.
I planted green beans, peas, peppers and tomatoes. I harvested one batch of green beans. There were enough green beans for one supper.
At press time, I still have all of three tomatoes that show promise. They are about cherry sized and green as can be. I’m not a good gardener.
I’m very grateful that my neighbor is a comparative genius when it comes to gardening. He has a decent sized plot of land that he fills with all the standard garden vegetables. And they grow. He actually is able to harvest most of what he’s planted!
In fact, he’s got so much that he’s invited me to have some tomatoes. Hooray!
I like tomatoes. They are great freshly sliced on a bologna sandwich in summer time. They also work well for saving into winter. Now, I’m not novice enough to think I can just set a basket of tomatoes in the basement and expect them to be usable in December. There are varieties of squash you can do that with, but tomatoes are not squash.
I like to core the tomatoes, line them on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, I transfer to a sip top bag and save them to use in chili or pasta sauce in December. I’ve got several large bags already in the freezer and waiting for snow!
This week I tried something different with a batch of Roma tomatoes. I like sun dried tomatoes; they have such a wonderfully sweet flavor. I checked some of my cookbooks and found a way to make a close match.
8 Roma Tomatoes
½ c. Olive Oil
2 T. minced Garlic
2 T. Italian Spice mix
2 T. Onion flakes
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a sharp knife, core the tomatoes. Slice each tomato in half, lengthwise. Then slice each half in quarter inch sections. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients to coat. Spread in single layer on baking sheet with an edge. Slow roast in 250 degree oven for two hours.
Make it a meal: Toss with pasta and Parmesan cheese. Use as a topping on pizza. Spread over garlic toast slices.
Approximate Nutritional Value per serving: Servings Per Recipe: 4, Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277, Fat: 27g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 9mg, Total Carbs: 8g, Protein: 3g.
Roma tomatoes work very well for this dish as they maintain their shape when roasted. However, any variety of tomato will work. Use what you have from your garden or that your neighbor has gifted to you.
The flavor is slightly sweet and savory mixed together. I have to admit, I got some quizzical looks from my family when I explained the pizza didn’t have a sauce, but these tomatoes instead. I noticed they ate the entire pizza, just the same!
My husband commented that he really liked the tomatoes done this way. I’m really glad to hear that, since I’ve got another basket on the deck! I don’t think there’s any such thing as “too many tomatoes”!
Noel Lizotte is breaking free of corporate stress with convenience cooking! This recipe is similar to ones printed in her cookbook Apron Free Cooking which is available on the website.