There’s nothing like fresh foods prepared with great care. But many of us lead busy lives that make cooking from scratch every day seem like a daunting task. And even some of us who have the time don’t have a lot of inclination to spend a lot of time over the stove.
In fact, as much as I love to promote home cooking and fresh foods, there are things I almost never make because they seem like too much trouble to me compared to the reward. One of the biggies this way for me is tomato sauce for pasta. It’s rare than I have the sheer number of really good tomatoes to make it worth while. And with the number and variety of tomato sauces on the grocery store shelves in jars and cans…well, it’s easy to find a sauce that tastes good and fits my budget. Then I can just open it up, heat it, perhaps toss in a quick smattering of fresh herbs or cut up a couple more tomatoes for chunkiness and serve it to family and friends.
But I found a recipe the other day that I can’t wait to try out. It’s not precisely tomato sauce, but it would serve much the same purpose. It could also be served up as a snack on its own or added to a commercial tomato sauce for extra interest…really, I can think of a dozen ways to use these nibbles, but the first one I thought of was using it in place of tomato sauce.
It takes even longer to make than tomato sauce, but you don’t have to give it any attention once you get it started. In fact, you just leave it while you head off to bed or to work. Don’t worry, you won’t burn down the house and you don’t need a crock pot to do it.
So how does this miracle work? Read on, my friends, read on.
Moonblush Tomatoes (from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson)
1 lb. (about 24 in number) cherry or other baby tomatoes
2 Tbl olive oil
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp sugar
Preheat oven to 450F
Cut the tomatoes in half and sit them cut side up in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, thyme, and sugar.
Put them in the oven and immediately turn it off. Leave the tomatoes in the oven overnight or all day without opening it.
And that’s all there is to it!
It just so happens that my corner grocer has baby roma tomatoes on sale right now. That means I’m going to try this out right away.