Sweet Thing: Zesty Roasted Tomatoes

Here’s a post for President Clinton, who recently lost 24 pounds after switching to a plant-based diet.  More fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes; a stark contrast to his previous dietary habits that lead to major heart surgery.  As a co-founder of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation which works to help reduce and prevent childhood obesity, Mr. Clinton is leading-by-example; a message that the public can, and should, really sink their teeth into.
 
Speaking of effective messaging, an anti-obesity campaign run by the New York City Department of Health features a clever internet video targeting those pesky sugary drinks that keep tugging at America’s waistline.  Not only does it help put the sugar content of soda into perspective, it highlights their ubiquity and the fact that many people do not realize just how much sugar and excess calories they are consuming — in the form of the chemical culprit high fructose corn syrup no less.  It’s a poignant message in the wake of a controversial announcement from the city’s mayor who asked the Department of Agriculture to exempt soda from food stamp benefits for the next two years in order to evaluate its effectiveness and possibly implement long-term.
 
It’s personal freedom against personal health, embroidered in a national trend that impacts all families and demographics.  But certainly both Mr. Clinton and the city of New York would agree that avoiding added sugar and focusing on naturally-occurring sugar, the kind in fruits and vegetables, is one of the best things you can do for your health.  This resource does an excellent job of explaining the difference and provides helpful shopping advice.
 
So here’s a great compromise to those with a mean sweet tooth looking to improve their diet: Roast.  Your.  Tomatoes.  While you still got ’em.
 
No, there are no tomatoes in these pictures, just showing off the fall garden collection which includes lettuce, radish, leeks and dill.  My summer tomato plants have treated me very well as handfuls of green tomatoes hide in brown paper bags,  while more ripe ones sit on my kitchen counter waiting for something more than a grilled cheese sandwich to snuggle in.  
 
I turned to this easy recipe for roasting a surplus of tomatoes.  Of course roasting tomatoes is no secret; I really have yet to venture into the world of pairing herbs with foods despite the extensive spice rack on my kitchen counter.  I had roasted the cute Sun Gold Tomatoes from Landisdale Farm with a bit of olive oil over the summer, and they were perfect for popping in your mouth as a snack.  But for something a bit more substantial and sophisticated, a variety of dried and fresh herbs with garlic in a drink of olive oil take tomatoes to the next level.  It tastes like pizza in Italy to me.  Using larger tomatoes creates something that almost commands a knife and a fork. 
 
Roasting tomatoes really concentrates their flavor and brings out their natural sweetness.  No added sugar.  Think we could hand these out on Halloween?

Zesty Roasted Tomatoes

Adapted from Figs & Wigs recipe

Ingredients:

  • About 8 medium tomatoes (choose whatever variety you have on hand)
  • About 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon each of marjoram, rosemary, oregano (whatever fresh or dried herbs you enjoy)
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Slice the tomatoes in half and then place in a rimmed baking dish.  (I lined the bottom with foil before placing the tomatoes.)
  3. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, garlic and herbs.  Drizzle liberally over the tomatoes.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes become soft and wrinkled.

The original recipe mashes the cooked tomatoes and serves with some sliced pita for dipping (which I’d still like to try).  I served mine straight from the oven, as a side dish, but they would be perfect to top a burger as well.

Advertisements

One response to “Sweet Thing: Zesty Roasted Tomatoes

  1. Great post as usual. I love the resources and despite the fact that I believe in personal freedom, I’m with Bloomberg on this one. The sugar add is very effective also.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s