Monday, July 25, 2011

Tomatoes and Tornadoes

We've been having strange weather all around the country.  Saturday brought Chicago the largest recorded rainfall in history!  In some areas, ten inches fell within a few hours.  Parts of freeways were impassable.  A village library had to close after being inundated with water.  Our favorite vendor at the local farmer's market said that the wind was so fierce that it blew potato plants right out of the ground trailing the still attached potatoes around the fields.  This all occurred in the afternoon and after the farmer's market had closed.

Due to our heavy spring rains and the lateness of getting vegetables planted there is a lack of homegrown tomatoes.  By mid-July, there are usually tables laden with tomatoes of many shapes, colors and tastes.  So far this season, those "jewels" are missing.  It could very well be September before the tomatoes arrive.  They may not arrive from our local fields at all.  

I've improvised in a few ways.  Back in early spring, Dom, over at Belleau Kitchen, roasted some tomatoes.  The photo of those tomatoes, left on their vines, and his description of the aroma in his kitchen stuck with me.

Here's Dom's recipe as near as I can recall.  The aroma is wonderful and the tomatoes are delicious.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes from Dom and Me

1 "bunch" of tomatoes on the vine
4 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325

1.  Place the tomatoes into a roasting dish.  Whisk the vinegar and oil together and pour over the tomatoes.
2.  Sprinkle with the rosemary, salt and pepper.
3.  Roast the tomatoes for about 45 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 200 and continue roasting for another two hours.



  1. so you leave the vines on. these are the only tomatoes i am buying right now, we have none available either and the ones of the vine are the best but not as good as they could be. you have a mention on todays' post.

  2. Look really good -- I've roasted cherries and grapes but never big tomatoes! I'll have to try that sometime. We've been eating tomatoes at almost every meal -- that is a ritual of summer!

  3. totally forgot to mention the flooding. we saw it on TV and it is a real disaster. hope it did not hurt your and your beautiful gardens.

  4. oh, if I could only stand to have the oven on that long!! I love roasted tomatoes. I've done the cherry tomatoes on the vine. Love the way it looks almost as much as the way it tastes.

    Ten inches is alot of rain at one time. The weather is giving fits all across the country. We desperately need rain (and its cooling effect). Sorry it has messed with the crops! That's no good (for consumers or the farmers). blessings ~ tanna

  5. I just love using fresh tomatoes in my cooking. Tomatoes have so much flavor and can be savory or sweet. Love this recipe for roasting them and I bet it would go so well with a nice side pasta salad or something! Wonderful job my friend

  6. Anche io li faccio cosi!!! Complimenti!!!

  7. The look absolutely yummy. I can smell the aroma just looking at the picture and and reading the recipe. I bet it would work well with the tomatoes on the vine from the grocery.

    We have tomatoes at the farmer's market, but they are not as tasty as they should be. The lack of rain has really damaged the crops. It sounds as if we are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

  8. Oh the tomatoes look so good! Yuck about the rain...the AT&T guy I spoke to is in Chicago and was suppose to go camping! I wonder if he made!

  9. They look wonderful! I do miss homegrown tomatoes like my mom always had. I just can't grow them here in Florida!

  10. Oooh! Those look super delicious! Here's hoping you get to have them yourself with fresh farmer's-market tomatoes soon!

  11. I so hope you all are okay and there is no flooding in your basement. I had no idea of the bad weather you are getting. I turned off the TV is out of town and I have been busy de-junking, he comes home today.

    Some parts are in need of water and many have none. Scary...

    Those tomatoes do look good.

    Stay cool.

  12. What frightening weather! We were a little overcast yesterday but today promises sunshine and temps of about 83 degrees. I love tomatoes!

  13. Oh dear, I feel so sorry for the farmers' market vendors who had to be out in the rain. It is miserable beyond words to have to do that. Roasting tomatoes is on a lot of minds this week. We are just starting to see the locals come into the market. Hope your weather improves soon.

  14. What a fabulous way of roasting tomatoes!
    Ours are still green, but normal for this area. It has been a wierd summer, tropical heat with tropical rainfall; unsuual for northern Ontario.
    Keeping this recipe for sure.

  15. I like tomatoes ---good, homegrown ones in the summer---but have never had roasted tomatoes. My mother used to make Stewed tomatoes --and I think they had bread in them... They were GOOD--but I haven't had any in years...

    Sorry about all of that rain.. You needed rain in your area for sure--but not that much and not that much wind... Yipes..

    Where are you from Chicago? Hubby grew up in Crown Point and his brother still lives in Hobart.. G's dad used to work in Gary. George took me to that area once...


  16. Indeed a delicious treat..

  17. Weren't the storms crazy? Our water bucket in our backyard measured 8 inches of rain!

    I am going to enjoy today and tomorrows temps. :D

  18. My, you have had crazy weather, haven't you. At least ours has been consistent, and even though we're in Florida, the temperatures have been lower than other parts of the country. But we know that after your temperatures have cooled off, we'll still be cooking.

    The tomato recipe sounds yummy.

  19. Sounds wonderful I love the simple wonderful recipes like this one.

    The weather has been something. Two of the expressways were closed when I went into work on Saturday Morning. Plus we just had to take down a GIANT tree branch fro our back yard.

  20. That was an amazing storm . . . all that lightening, too.


  21. Sounds like a wild time with your weather!
    The tomatoes look quite good.

    Take care.


  22. Oven roasting tomatoes makes even the blandest taste delicious! These look so good.

  23. What a super idea! I've never done them whole. That looks delicious.

    When I lived in Michigan, tornadoes were part of life. I was in three. Now it's hurricanes!

  24. I was so busy with company this weekend I did not hear the news. Unbelievable weather you are having. Things must really be green there once the debris from the winds has been cleaned up. The recipe looks wonderful. How I miss home grown tomatoes from our own garden ...

  25. I love roasted tomatoes and yours look wonderful.I like to toss them into a big plate of pasta and dress them with olive oil and pasta water if needed. Did the rains at least cool you down or did it just make things hot and muggy? Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  26. such a lovely dish, I love the way you leave the vines on - the photo is wonderful. Lovely flavors!

  27. Pulled the potatoes out of the ground? Was it a tornado?? Didn't you get flooded? Scary...

  28. yumo! trust tomatoes are so juicy ! great idea as well

  29. Ugh, you guys are having quite a summer. Didn't you all have some of the worst of the heat too last week? Hopefully you all will get a reprieve soon! These roasted tomatoes look wonderful and that is a great idea! I'll have to try this!

  30. Oh my goodness, I can't wait to make this! I certainly have all of the ingredients...right here in my garden!!! Bet the aroma was wonderful!!!!! Thanks so much!

  31. I can't believe I missed this post... i'm so sorry!... think i've been under some kind of kitchen-less stone for a few weeks... thanks so much for the shout-out, that's very lovely of you... these do look awesome and of course I know exactly how incredibly tasty they are... shame about that rain but the tomatoes should make the kitchen smell of summer eh? xx


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