"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

OMG roasted tomatoes — Once more with feeling

by Julie Tilsner on July 17, 2009

in Minor Miracles, Dinner, Vegetarian

Tomatorapture When two people in the space of a month fall into rapture over a recipe, you know you’re doing something right. And it’s about time.

I’ve made Molly’s roasted tomatoes twice in the past month, taking advantage of high tomato season, and the results have been great for my self-esteem.

I had a girlfriend and her daughter over for dinner last night and served these tomatoes. “Oh. My. God,” she said after the first bite. And didn’t say another word until she’d licked her bowl clean and asked for another tomato.

A few weeks earlier I sent an extra tomato home with Luke. He called the next day. “I don’t remember them being this delicious last time you made them,” he said. “I need that recipe, please.”

Why yes, that IS a giant, shit-eating grin on my face.

Here’s the recipe, once again, with feeling: (and another hat tip to Molly and Luisa)

Find four large, ripe, great-tasting tomatoes. (It’s summer, all you have to do is follow your nose. Buy Farmer’s Market tomatoes or use your own. Supermarket sorts just don’t do justice to this dish.)

1 small yellow onion, diced
olive oil
1/3 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup water
5 fresh basil leaves
breadcrumbs (I use Japanese panko, to great, crunchy results.)
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch slices

Behead the tomatoes and scoop out the guts; juice, seeds, flesh, all of it, into a small bowl. Lightly oil a 9X13″ pan and place the empty tomato hulls inside. Pull out some of the chunkier bits of flesh from the bowl and chop them up. Replace.

In a medium (2-quart) saucepan, warm a chug of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until soft and translucent. Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring for another minute or so. Add the tomato guts and the water, plus the basil. “Season expertly,” reduce the heat slightly, cover the pot and simmer for ten minutes. Taste, add salt as needed.

Spoon this rice glop (the rice will be par-cooked) back into the tomatoes. Top this with a sprinkling of bread crumbs or panko. Arrange the potato slices around the tomatoes and give everything a good drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The tomatoes should be shriveled up a bit, having released their juices and the potatoes should be cooked through and delicious.

Let me reiterate: Oh. My. God. This is so good. Especially now.

I’d be feeling pretty chuffed right about now if it weren’t for that gazpacho problem chilling in my ‘fridge. Seems I still need a lot of work on my dicing skills…

Go forth and tomato!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

online pharmacy July 20, 2009 at 12:17 am

Thanks for the recipe, Looks delicious alright.. Got to try this one..


kelli July 21, 2009 at 9:51 pm

that sounds mighty good! I am sure I have a pile of tomatoes on the vine…I am picking tomorrow for sure!


cheap pharmacy online July 29, 2009 at 11:59 pm

I love tomatoes, especially when it not cooked..thanks for the recipes, I will try that also..


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