I am writing after eating this actual meal for dinner for the third night in a row. All three times I was sitting at the counter while my baby sat across from me in her bumbo, eating the same thing. We both mmmmmm’d our way through it (actually I was the only mmmmm’er, which I do a lot of because it makes her laugh, but she loved it too).
I (we) enjoyed it so much that I am considering hitting up the Farmers Market again tomorrow for more tomatoes to make it for dinner when my husband comes home from his work trip. That’s how good this is.
Not in a ‘this recipe is so great, I rule’ kind of way but in a ‘these ingredients are so good and we succeeded in staying out of their way’ kind of way. For this reason, this recipe works best exactly this time of year when the tomatoes are irresistibly sweet and the garlic is fat, sticky and fresh.
You should make this recipe this week, even if you just make it to freeze it for an actual taste of summer in October. Or November. I cannot even imagine how much my future self would love me for that.
The hardest thing about this recipe is not turning the tomatoes, that you painstakingly gentled home from the farmers market, into salad. Slicing up tomatoes and drizzling them with some lemon juice and olive oil is the easiest thing to do, especially when they taste so good just as they are. Once you get past that, this recipe couldn’t be easier.
Choose tomatoes that taste great, that is the only rule. Considering they make up the majority of the recipe, and they can vary so much in quality, this is important. We roast the tomatoes to evaporate some of the liquid (although not to the extent that we would with wintery hothouse tomatoes) and concentrate the flavour. But it’s also about roasting the garlic and the onions, which obviously add flavour but actually work to thicken the final sauce too, in case your tomatoes are on the watery side.
By cooking the tomatoes we also up the (cancer-crushing) lycopene content. We served it with spaghetti squash, which is less seasonal (I can see the tears falling down the local zucchini’s faces, now) but we wanted to add some yellow=beta carotene to give our lungs a nutrient boost after the summer of forest fire smoke. If you’re not from BC, or if you can’t handle the zucchini tears, zucchini noodles would be seasonally appropriate and delicious. But I also give you permission to spaghetti squash in solidarity.
I know we celebrated tomatoes last week too, but clearly we weren’t done yet. Try this, even if it’s to freeze for well-deserving October you.
- 2 kg Tomatoes, cut into large pieces (in season, they should taste good on their on, raw)
- ½ Red Onion, diced
- 6-10 Garlic Cloves, whole, unpeeled
- ½ c fresh Basil Leaves, torn
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea(weed) Salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 325*F
- On two parchment-lined baking sheets, scatter the tomatoes, onion and garlic.
- Bake form 50-60 minutes (check at 45 minutes to make sure the garlic isn't too brown, pull the garlic out if it is).
- Squeeze or scoop the roasted garlic out of the peels.
- Put entire contents (minus the garlic peels) into the blender and pulse until it is cohesive but still has some texture (or blend to desired texture).
- Season to taste.
- Stir in basil and olive oil.
- Serve on zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash (or real noodles)