Monday, June 6, 2011

Cooking with Charred Tomatoes

I have been thinking about charred tomatoes ever since I went to a little family-run Mexican restaurant that made table side salsa with charred tomatoes.  We ate every drop. 

It reminded me of a charred tomato and bacon salad dressing that I made last Summer.  I remember reading a recipe in a magazine on an airplane and improvised from there.  You basically cook olive oil-brushed tomatoes on a charcoal grill (hence the char) until they are a bit black and softened and then pulse them in a food processor with garlic, cooked bacon, a smig of fresh rosemary and olive oil.  Wow is it good.  You can see I added 2 pieces of fresh rosemary from the herb pot to the grill.  It didn't do much for the tomatoes, but the scent was heavenly!

My quick and easy way to char a bunch of tomatoes (that doesn't involve my husband, charcoal bags or the fire department) is to light a disposable camping grill ($2.00) and 15 minutes later my coals are ready to cook.  No fuss, no muss.  And if the heat from the coals lingers past your pile of tomatoes, you can char other vegetables too, like red peppers and onions.

This is the Summer of "eating more vegetables" and charring is a good way to start.

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