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.