Tag Archives: mozzarella

Sweet Roasted Tomatoes

So plane travels used to be for watching crappy-yet-oh-so-distracting movies, stuffing your face with horrible-yet-oh-so-distracting food, while drinking your tomato juice. Bref, planes used to be your own little space, where one could do all the horrible stuff one is not supposed to do past the age of, say, 12.

But here I am, with my new MacBook Air, a flawless wi-fi connection, low-calorie vegetables dips and organic roasted almonds. Where is the fun all gone?  So I have no choice but respecting my newborn healthy resolution and catching up on my blog.

And what a better topic than tomatoes to combine all the issues at stake here:

  1. Like the vast majority of the population, I drink tomato juice only when flying;
  2. In case you hadn’t noticed, tomatoes are healthy. Because it is a vegetable (oh, sorry, a fruit), it is light and you can eat a lot of them. Also, it has a lot of vitamin C;
  3. And it is definitely one of my must-haves. Fits into my blog.

The only problem I have is that tomatoes are tasteless. I mean, not in general. Just lately. And this dates back to before I moved to this wonderful country. Yes, even in my douce France, good tomatoes are difficult to find. Usually rare and expensive. And the sad thing is, one tends to forget the taste of good tomatoes after a while.

Luckily for you, I found a nice solution. Nice nice nice. Very happy about it. Granted, it certainly does not replace a nice ripe juicy tasty tomato. But it certainly does the trick. I roast them: put them whole in the oven (250F), on a baking sheet, with a little drizzle of olive oil, thyme, salt & pepper.   For two hours. Or longer if you want. Let them cool a little, peel them, get rid of the seeds. And there you go. Nice tomatoes, to use in salads, sauces, gaspachos, whatever you like.

Granted, this does not make a tomato juicy tasty and fresh. It tastes different. And this does not prevent you from selecting organic tomatoes, and decent looking ones. But still. It works well in the following salads I tried:

  1. Tomatoes + roasted peppers* + mozzarella di buffala + scallions + basil + salt + pepper + olive oil + balsamic vinegar;
  2. Tomatoes + roasted peppers + potatoes (be careful, don’t cook them too much or it will turn out mushy) + salt + pepper + pitted black olives + scallions + parsley + olive oil + balsamic vinegar;

* One day I will have to spread my love of roasted peppers too. Red roasted pepper, that is.

Parsley mon amour

In an ideal world, I would select all the recipes I want to make during the week, and build my shopping list based on these choices, and then go shopping. Well, thing is, I am pretty lazy . And I usually think of what I am going to cook AFTER I go to the grocery store. And of course I can’t be bothered to go back to the grocery store. (Although I am planning on using tastyplanner.com some day and see if that helps)

img_0230How can I even cook – let alone cook good stuff if I don’t shop accordingly ? Well, that’s – among other things – because I heavily rely on my must haves, some key ingredients which I would add to almost every single dish – and couldn’t cook without.

First of: Parsley. Granted, I haven’t posted a lot of recipes yet, but I am pretty sure parsley is almost in all of them. I always use flat leaves parsley. Never could understand why you would use the curly kind –  it’s gross.  Parsley goes pratically everywhere:

  • Salads & salad dressing : I usually add Parsley to almost every salad dressing I make. Also, it is a good replacement in case Spring comes in, you have tomatoes, goat cheese/mozzarella (di buffala, please) or feta cheese, some black olives, lemon. But hey, you don’t have basil. Well, use parsley instead. Or, you have these great avocados, so ready to be transformed into a nice tasty guacamole but hey, no cilantro. Well Parsley will do the trick. Why not, you would ask, use basil in a tomato-mozarella salad and cilantro in a guacamole? Don’t get me wrong, I love basil & I love cilantro. But I remember so many occasions where I would buy this big, great bunch of basil…and end up throwing half of it because it went bad. Mind you, what about doing a pesto with this? And you would be right – could be the topic of another post.
  • I have the nicest childhood memories of poelee de cepes in the Fall. OK, might be difficult to find cepes here (and ridiculously expensive) but sauteed mushrooms with parsley and garlic is always a delish. If you want to make it into an omelet that’s good too. And you can even throw in a little bacon if you wish (bacon is another must-have-of-mine).
  • Oh – and what about fresh green beans with crushed garlic, olive oil (or butter) with parsley? Or green peas for that matter.
  • I also love to add parsley to my pasta (see my Baby Spinach carbonara recipe for example).

Anyway, you get the point. I find it difficult to find an aromatic herb easier to use than parsley. Not that parsley should be the only herb in your fridge. But still, it’s a pretty good one to have.

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