My biggest pet peeve is seeing a raw tomato on a menu when it is clearly not in season. Tomatoes not in season are mealy, have little taste and just plain old bad. Why, why, why would you do it? Having said that, one of my most favourites is the Insalata Caprese. Our new hot spot restaurant in Toronto (Bar Mercurio) has by far, one of the best Insalata Caprese I have ever tasted and I am not kidding. And this salad is consistently amazing, whether the humble tomato is in season or not! Dare I share their secret?
Oven Roasted Tomatoes. There I said it. Slow roasting your sliced tomatoes over a long period of time will bring out the sugars and caramelize this lovely fruit to a point where it really doesn’t matter what it tastes like raw! Paired with some fresh buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, a little spicy arugula and drizzled with EVOO and good quality aged balsamic…well, I have died and gone to heaven!
- 5-8 medium Roma tomatoes, washed and sliced about 1cm thick
- sea salt to taste
- paper towel to dry off tomatoes
- non-stock spray, such as Pam
- cookie sheet with a cooling rack installed on it so there is about 1 cm to 2cm between it and the cookie sheet
- parchment paper
- Pre-heat oven to 200°F
- Line the cookie sheet with parchment.
- Install the cooling rack onto the cookie sheet.
- Spray the cooling rack with the non-stick spray.
- Dry each tomato slice, both sides.
- Place the tomato slices on the rack so that they are not touching.
- Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
- Bake for 3-4 hours or until the edges become caramelized. You may wish to flip the tomatoes half way during the baking period.
- Serve warm or cold.