Friday, November 6, 2009

Remainders and Hangers-On

Both Renee's mother-in-law and my father-in-law remembered their parents wrapping green tomatoes in newspaper and letting them ripen in the basement. Renee tried and got mush. I meant to try too, but, luckily it turns out, I didn't get around to it. When I realized that I really never would get the two baskets of green tomatoes wrapped or taken down, I lay them out along the windowsills. And they ripened perfectly. All of them, pretty much all at once. Since in Fall even while a savor the few last fresh veggies I crave thick and hearty meals, I've been pairing the tomatoes with a variety of rich cheeses.

Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Slice a large tomato per person into 1/4" rounds. Line a baking pan with tin foil and lay the tomatoes on the foil. Bake at 300 for 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, slice a good bread and spread it with goat cheese. Sherman Market which just opened in Somerville's Union Square carries a wonderful selection of New England artisanal cheeses, including some great goats. Remove the tomatoes from the oven. With a spatula, remove them from the foil and place them on top of the sandwiches. Place the sandwiches back on the foil, turn the oven to broil and broil the sandwiches for about 3 minutes.

Caprese Salad
Serves 4

Slice 3 large tomatoes into 1/4" slices
Slice 10 ounces mozarella cheese into 1/4" slices
Gather about 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves. The cold has started to brown the edges of the leaves, but the basil that I never got around to picking is still standing, and holding a fantastic flavor.

Lay out one layer of mozarella, one layer of tomato, and one layer of basil. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 T balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil. Repeat until you've used up all of the ingredients. This preserves very well for up to 12 hours, the dressing slowly infusing the tomatoes and mozarella. It works as a main dish or as a side, and also makes great sandwich filling.