Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

From Deb Perelman’s

Cherry, grape or small Roma tomatoes
Whole gloves of garlic, unpeeled
Olive oil
Herbs such as thyme or rosemary (optional)

Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry or grape tomato crosswise, or Roma tomato lengthwise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle herbs on, if you are using them, and salt and pepper, though go easily on these because the finished product will be so flavorful you’ll need very little to help it along.

Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside–this could take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes.

Either use them right away or let them cool, cover them with some extra olive oil and keep them in the fridge for the best summer condiment, ever. And for snacking.


Seared Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes with Polenta

Seared Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes with Polenta

Altered from Creamy Parmesan Polenta, Cook’s Illustrated, Italian Favorites 2011


The polenta recipe will make much more polenta than needed for this recipe alone. The extra polenta can be poured into a baking dish and covered in the fridge to be cut up as firm polenta and fried another day.

7 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt (we only use ¾ tsp)
Pinch baking soda
1 1/2 cups coarse-ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 cups), plus extra for serving
Ground black pepper

Squeeze a 3-foot length of aluminum foil into a ½ inch rope. Twist the rope into a ring the size of a burner and place on the burner. The space will help the flames not get too warm under your pot.

Bring water to boil in heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in salt and baking soda. Slowly pour cornmeal into water in steady stream, while stirring back and forth with wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Bring mixture to boil, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting and cover.

After 5 minutes, stir polenta to smooth out any lumps that may have formed, about 15 seconds. Cover and continue to cook, without stirring, until grains of polenta are tender but slightly al dente, about 25 minutes longer. (Polenta should be loose and barely hold its shape but will continue to thicken as it cools.)

Remove from heat and stir in butter and Parmesan. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes

Olive oil

1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into ¼ - ½ inch slices

3-4 small garlic cloves

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 half-pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Salt and pepper


2 Tb. chopped parsley

Heat a grill or cast iron skillet with grill ridges or outdoor grill until very hot and reduce flame to medium high. Coat each side of zucchini slices with olive oil. Grill zucchini, until marks appear, and flip doing the same for the other side. Remove to cutting board, and cut into cubes about the size of the cherry tomatoes. Heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in a separate pan over medium-high heat until fragrant and sizzling, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat, added in zucchini. Spoon polenta into shallow bowl or plate, and top with zucchini and cherry tomatoes along with any juices. Sprinkle parmesan and parsley as garnish.

Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
From Deb Perelman’s, who adapted it from “Chez Panisse Vegetables”

Serves 6

1 pound green beans, though if you can find a mix of green and yellow beans, it will be all the prettier
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Basil or other herb (optional)

Prepare the vegetables: Top and tail the beans and cut them into large segments. Parboil the beans in salted water until just tender, about four to five minutes. Drain and immediately spread them out to cool. Stem the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.

Make the vinaigrette: Peel and mince the shallot and put it in a bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed. Toss the cherry tomatoes in with the vinaigrette; this can sit for a while. Do not add the green beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinaigrette. For variety, the salad can be garnished with basil or some other fresh herb such as parsley, chervil or hyssop.

Do ahead: Beans and vegetables can be prepared ahead of time. Simply toss with the dressing only at the last minute, as it can discolor the green beans after several hours.


Greek Salad on Grilled Pita

Greek Salad on Grilled Pita

You’ll need a mortar and pestle or a food processor for the hummus and a ridged iron skillet or grill for the pita.


For Hummus:

1 ½ Tb tahini

¼ c lemon juice (1 large lemon)

2 small garlic cloves, minced

2 Tb olive oil

½ - 1 tsp salt, depending on taste

1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas/garbanzo beans

For Dressing:

4 Tb lemon juice (1 large lemon)

2 Tb Flat-leaf/Italian parsley, chopped

1 small garlic clove, minced and crushed with side of knife

1 ½ Tb olive oil

2 tsp red wine vinegar

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

For Pita and Salad:

4 pita breads

1 head lettuce, coarsely chopped

½ c cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cucumber, peeled if desired, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced

½ c pitted Kalamata olives

1/3 c feta, crumbled (2 oz.)

Black pepper


Make Hummus:

Combine tahini and lemon juice in a food processor, and blend for 1 minute. Scrape mixture down the sides of the container, then add the garlic, olive oil, and salt. Process for 30 seconds. Reserve the juice from the garbanzo beans, and add to the processor. Puree for about a minute. Add garbanzo juice from can, about 1 Tb at a time until it reaches your preferred consistency.

Make Dressing:

Whisk all dressing ingredients together until emulsified.

Grill Pita and Make Salad:

Heat grill pan or grill over high heat until smoking and lightly brush with oil. Grill as many pitas as will fit on the ridges (1 if you have our pan) turning over once, until grill marks appear. Transfer to plates.

Toss lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, in a bowl with dressing to coat. Add feta and toss gently a couple times, so it doesn’t become milky goo.


Spread hummus on pitas, then top with salad. Grind black pepper on top and serve.