Monday, August 27, 2018

Roma Tomatoes

I recently went to the farmers market and ran into a school chum (and practically a life-long friend!)
and she told me she was going to purchase a bushel of Roma tomatoes and roast them in the oven for
soups, stews and sauces all winter long.

What a great idea!

The following market day, the one stand I patronize had a basket for $5.00.......25lbs!!!!

Once home, I cut the tomatoes and placed them cut side up on a baking sheet.  I sprinkled them with
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, fresh thyme, drizzled olive oil over the tomatoes  and put them in a slow, low (300*) oven for 2 hours.

The kitchen smelled absolutely divine!

The tomatoes were a bit soft.  I bagged them and froze each bag flat......for the winter!!!

The next day, I finished off the tomatoes (the never ending bag of tomatoes!).  This time I placed
the cut side down on the baking sheet.  I sprinkled the kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and fresh
basil, then drizzled liberally with olive oil.  I baked these tomatoes at 400* for one hour. 

I can't begin to tell you how wonderful that smell was!!!

Once cool, I processed the tomatoes, oil, basil, everything on the baking sheet.......and the result was
the very best, best ever, oh my! tomato sauce ever!!!!!!!

Unfortunately, the yield was only two (2) quarts!!!!!

Eggplant! Eggplant!! Eggplant!!!

As a young girl living in Manhattan, I had a friend from "da Bronx".  We would go to Tucci's (in the Bronx)  on Friday evenings after work.  It was there, for the first time, I had Eggplant Parmesan.

Now I had had fried eggplant at home in Pennsylvania  many, many times.  My Mother served it as a side vegetable dish.  I always, always loved eggplant.

It's seems you either love it or hate it.

But Tucci's!  They did wonderful things with the eggplant and I was in heaven.

Fast forward many years and it is still one of my very favorite dishes.  Most of my pals enjoy it
as well.

I recently prepared an Eggplant Rollatini with no ricotta cheese.  Yep, no ricotta cheese.  That is
almost sacriligious, is it not?

I also did not fry the eggplant in oil.

Instead, I sliced the eggplant lengthwise and placed it on a parchment-lined baking sheet I had
sprayed with Pam.  Then I placed the eggplant slices on the baking sheet and sprayed each
slice with Pam.  I also sprinkled just a small bit of kosher salt on each slice.

The pan went into a 400* oven for about 20 minutes.  (some of the slices were a bit too thin and
were over-baked but most were just right).

After the slices cooled, I placed a beautiful, thin slice of prosciutto on top of each slice of eggplant.
Then I added a rolled-up slice of Fontina cheese and rolled up the eggplant slice.

This was placed on a bed of Roma Tomato Sauce (another blog posting), topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and baked for about 25 minutes. (Mozzarella cheese is another good option).