Garlic Roasted Tomatoes

Garlic Roasted Tomatoes

Garlic Roasted TomatoesWant to know one of the things I love most about summer cooking? Tomatoes. They make me blissfully happy. Like little natural works of art, tomatoes make me stop and marvel at the wonders of creation. And oh how I love their scent. In the winter I can go to my local grocer, pick up a tomato, breathe it in and smell nothing. Zip, nada, zilch.  But in the summertime they smell like they are supposed to. Delicious.

Garlic Roasted TomatoesSo when tomatoes are at their peak and abundant, I prepare them every which way. Salsa, pasta sauce, layered in thick slices on top of pizza, stuffed with eggs, served over polentamixed into salads, really I could go on and on. That’s how much I enjoy them.

But sometimes I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with. And when I find that I have too many to eat up right away, I roast them and store them in a bit of olive oil to enjoy throughout the week.

This recipe that I’m sharing with you today, Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, is very simple to make and lends itself to countless serving possibilities. You can serve them over crusty bread, chop them up and use them as a pizza topping, layer them into your favorite sandwiches or eat them straight out of the jar. They are that good.

Garlic Roasted TomatoesMade with a full head of garlic, this recipe is for garlic lovers for sure. As they are roasting in the oven, your home will smell like a pizza parlor thanks to the garlic and oregano. This is not a bad thing!

Garlic Roasted TomatoesAnd once the tomatoes are cooked and cooled, place them in a jar with a handful of fresh basil leaves. Place it in the fridge and one night when you come home from work and have no idea what to make for dinner, you can dump the jar out into a skillet, boil up some pasta, mix it together and have a killer dinner lickety split!

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Garlic Roasted Tomatoes
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
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Garlic Roasted Tomatoes. Roasted tomatoes that can be used in many different ways but especially wonderful on sandwiches, as a pizza topping and especially as a pasta sauce.
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • Lots of fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325º. Spread 2 Tbsp olive oil evenly on baking sheet.
  2. Slice tomatoes in half. Place on baking sheet. Top with sliced garlic.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt, oregano, pepper flakes and black pepper.
  4. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over top.
  5. Cover with foil and place in a 325º oven for approximately two hours or until they are fork tender.
  6. Remove from oven, cool and place into a jar. Top with basil and another good drizzle of olive oil. Cover.
  7. These will stay fresh for about four days in your refrigerator. They also freeze nicely.

 

Chopped Kale and Roasted Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Chopped Kale and Roasted Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Chopped Kale and Roasted Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime VinaigretteOk so it’s been like four months since my last post. Pathetic, I know. But it’s not like I don’t have an excuse. Quite the contrary. I have all kinds of awesome excuses…

I went back to work in a no kidding office in the city. Briefcase and all. And can I tell you how much I love my job? Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I feel so fortunate to work with so many creative people. Seriously, the place runneth over with talent. But the best part is that I get to do what I love to do and I know that not everyone gets that opportunity. I’m a lucky girl.

I also hurt my back and had my wisdom teeth pulled out. None of that inspired me to pull out a frying pan. Matter of fact, for three months we ate a lot of foods we normally don’t. Takeout, mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets. I was a hurtin’ puppy. Cooking was not a priority.

And while I’m listing excuses, I’ll also mention that I’m a mother of four. The kids are a major time suck, but in a good way. Recently we went through a health scare with our littlest which made me reflect on how much I love them and how lost I would be without them. They are the nucleus of my existence and if I lost any of them, my being would shatter into a gazillion fragments.

And that’s why I haven’t been posting.

Enough of that. Let’s talk food. I recently went down to Miami for the food blogging conference BlogHer Food. Miami is well known for good eats, so it seemed only right to try out some local restaurants. I did a little research and found that Yardbird Southern Table looked quite promising. Southern food served in an upscale setting. Chicken and waffles. Shrimp and Grits. Crispy fried chicken. If it was southern, they had it. And of course I wanted to eat it all.

Alas, one cannot do that in one visit, so I settled on a kale salad and the chicken and waffles. But truth be told, there was no settling whatsoever. I know that a kale salad does not sound very exciting. But let me tell you, it was one of the very best salads I had in my entire life. Chopped kale, apples, cheddar cheese, cornbread croutons and moonshine raisins. The menu listed the dressing as “cider vinegar” but clearly they were holding out.

I could taste citrus, a light tang of vinegar and several other mystery flavors that made for the most luscious salad that ever entered my mouth. Of course I immediately started pushing the salad around on my plate in order to decipher what the heck they did to make such a marvelous creation. And while I did a damn good job replicating the dressing, this version is a little different because let’s face it, moonshine raisins aren’t easy to come by in Boston.

Chopped Kale and Roasted Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime VinaigretteMy version starts the same as the Yardbird’s. A big ole head of chopped kale. I have to be honest with you. I’m not at all a fan of kale. Matter of fact, I avoid it. It’s just not my favorite leafy green. Spinach? Sure. Collard greens? Absolutely. Kale, meh.

Even still, it really works with this recipe. Kale has just the right texture for a chopped salad. It doesn’t mush down and get soggy. I hate soggy salads.

Chopped Kale and Roasted Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime VinaigretteTheir recipe didn’t have corn in it, but I did put it in my version. That’s the beauty of a chopped salad. You can pretty much use any veggie you like. I especially like roasted corn. So in it went.

Chopped Kale and Roasted Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime VinaigretteThe Yardbird menu did not mention bacon in the salad, but I definitely detected that undeniable smoky bacon flavor in the mix.  Gotta love a salad that has cheese and bacon in it. That’s my kind of salad.

Chopped Kale and Roasted Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime VinaigretteFor crunch I added sweet Vidalia onions and some chopped pecans. The addition of crunchy foods really perks up a salad. Don’t you think?

And if you don’t love pecans, use any nut you like. Walnuts, cashews and almonds are all great choices. Or if you are allergic to nuts, just skip it. The onions give the salad a nice crunch on their own.

But what makes this salad truly special is the dressing. The Yardbird dressing seemed to have a citrusy flavor with just a bit of sweet to it. My version is similar in flavor but I’ve added cilantro and a bit of jalapeño for a little kick. I know that not everyone likes cilantro. If you aren’t gah gah for cilantro like I am, you can substitute with just about any herb you like. Fresh tarragon or marjoram would be fine choices.

While this salad isn’t exactly the Yardbird version, it sure is close. You can serve it with just about anything or even serve it as an entree. It’s hearty enough with the bacon, cheese and nuts that it absolutely could be an entire meal on its own.

If you ever make your way down to Miami, do be sure to stop by Yardbird Southern Table. You won’t regret it. I will be dreaming about their kale salad and chicken and waffles for the rest of my days. Which is also the amount of time I will need to burn those calories off. Whoa mama.

Chopped Kale and Roasted Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 6-8
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
A hearty kale and roasted corn salad with a hint of smoke from thick cut bacon. Dressed with a tangy cilantro lime vinaigrette.
Ingredients
For the Salad
  • 6 cups kale, chopped
  • 4 cups corn kernels, roasted (I actually grilled mine)
  • 1 8oz brick of cheddar cheese, diced (freeze the block first)
  • ¾ cup Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 cup, red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup thick cut bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
For the Dressing
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded (or less if you don't like heat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used ½ tsp salt and about 6 cranks of pepper)
Instructions
  1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well.
  2. Place dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Use as much of the dressing as you like and store the rest in the fridge for up to one week.

 

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