Friday, October 21, 2011

All Day Tomatoes

   Tonight is pizza night at the farm. Homemade, handmade pizza, not $5 hot-n-ready. And today has been more moderately paced than every other day in recent weeks, so I indulged in some slow food luxuries while I could. First, I mixed up a couple of batches of pizza dough. Feeling the warm dough in my hands encouraged me to slow down even further. Then while the dough was resting and rising, I oven-roasted a pound and a half of grape tomatoes.

   The resulting yeasty, tangy-sweet, garlicky aromas wafting from the kitchen have pretty much intoxicated me. I am down for the count, good only for reading old books with yellowed, torn covers and having my toes nibbled by Pacino. As mentioned, it has been a while since the pace around here was so simple, so single-layered and calm. Today has been a much needed reprieve, and I am fortunate enough to have shared it with my ten-four-good-buddy M Half.

   You probably already know how to do this; it is neither rocket science nor Sudoku. But I snapped a couple of colorful before and after photos, so I want to share it with you guys.

Step One: Rinse your tomatoes and slice lengthwise. I used those small, sweet grape tomatoes today but have used lots of other varieties in the past. Feel free to improvise. Just slice, chop, or otherwise re-size 'em to suit your taste.

Step Two: Pour the raw tomatoes onto a baking sheet and add in some minced fresh garlic. I used my handy-dandy Pampered Chef garlic press for the first time today and L-I-K-E it. For this pound and a half of tomatoes I used about five cloves of garlic.

Step Three: Drizzle all of it with olive oil then sprinkle on some dried Italian herbs (fresh if you are awesome enough to have some) and sea salt.

Step Four: Place into a 200 degree oven for approximately the rest of the day. Specifically, a few hours. You will begin to smell the magic in your kitchen within five minutes. Your adjoining rooms will be perfumed in under half an hour. And by the time you can breathe in the tomato-garlic heaven from your front yard, it might be done.  

The tomatoes emerged from the oven three hours later, looking all shrivelly and exotic, 
promising us delicious toppings for our pizzas.

   That's about it! A little tiny bit of knife-wielding, a slightly larger investment of time, and some appreciation for organic pleasures. That's all you need. And if Oklahoma gets the rainy Saturday evening we've been promised, this might be a nice way to celebrate.  Enjoy!



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