Chef Robert Turner talks about one of his favorite ways to prepare the love apple, also known as the tomato.
I’m from New Jersey, which is also known, believe it or not, as the Garden State. Long a major agricultural production center, New Jersey is famous for its great tasting tomatoes. You may have heard of the Jersey tomato. It set the bar high for flavor and quality and I was lucky enough to grow up on them.
A classic summer food, tomatoes can be used in a seemingly endless number of ways. I’m fond of roasting them, which brings out their natural sweetness and flavor by removing moisture. You can find a number of delicious uses for roasted tomatoes: add to a pasta dish; puree then strain to make a soup; add to your favorite hummus recipe; toss into a salad; serve as a side dish with any meal; or can or freeze for a taste of summer come winter.
Plum tomatoes (also commonly called Roma tomatoes) are great for roasting because they’re not too watery. Any small tomato works well, including cherry tomatoes. You can also roast a combination of colors for a more interesting visual presentation.
8 tomatoes, halved, with the tough stem area removed
8 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place tomatoes skin side down on a lightly oiled baking tray. Add garlic cloves and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for a minimum of 20 minutes, checking every 5 minutes after that to avoid burning. The longer you roast them, the more concentrated their flavor will be. Remove from the oven and cool before using. Refrigerate any leftovers and use within a week.