I just finished reading a wonderful book — A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. Molly is the creator of the smart and tasty blog Orangette and the owner, along with her husband Brandon, of the Seattle restaurant Delancey. I plan to eat at Delancey on my very next visit to Seattle. I promise.
Anyway, as I was saying, I just finished reading A Homemade Life. Every chapter tells a story and includes a recipe, and I pretty much want to cook or bake every recipe in the book.
Not wanting to put my exploration of these dishes off too far, I chose to start with one of the simplest — not that most of the recipes are complicated, but this one is particularly simple. There are only 4 ingredients, and all but the tomatoes are something most of us have in our pantries all the time: olive oil, salt and ground coriander.
The tomatoes are those Roma tomatoes, the ones that you can find year-round in most supermarkets. I ran out to get some.
Preparation is quick — slice the stem end off each tomato and cut them in half lengthwise. Toss them with the olive oil, spread them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and coriander and put them in the oven (which you have preheated to 200 degrees) and let them roast.
The only thing challenging about this recipe is that it takes a while. The tomatoes roast in a very slow oven for 4 to 6 hours. Yes, 4 to 6 hours. The nice thing is that you don’t need to do anything to them while they are roasting, just check in on them now and then. I roasted mine for the full 6 hours, and honestly, they could probably have even roasted a bit longer. I think they turned out perfectly.
I’ve used these tomatoes in at least three dishes since making them — we added them to a duck ragu that was tossed with homemade fettuccine, to a saute of chard and caramelized onions, and served them with scrambled eggs, for breakfast.
They even taste good on their own.