It’s that time of year when I suddenly realize all the beautiful fresh local tomatoes will soon be a distant memory until they arrive once again next summer. I’m now in a full-fledged panic to use as many of those juicy tomatoes as I possibly can. I may have a small revolt on my hands as tomatoes are showing up daily in all three meals at the Bennett house.
Fluffy whipped French omelets with the distinctive Gruyère cheese and fresh chopped heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella en carrozza (Tuscan cheese sandwiches) with fresh sliced tomatoes piled high and grilled fish and chicken with roasted cherry tomatoes, smashed garlic cloves, diced shallots, a squeeze of lemon and fresh herbs. And I have more recipes yet to prepare! I think the Bennett crew will be “oh so happy” when tomato season is over.
I do love a good tomato. The smell of a ripe tomato takes me back to my childhood when I would pick the sun warmed fruits off the vines in our little garden and sit in the grass to eat them. No salt, pepper, herbs or mayo, just a juicy fresh picked off the vine tomato. Tomatoes make delicious additions to most recipes; adds fresh flavor, a little zing, and one would have to admit, the color of a tomato is hard to duplicate.
Sometimes the simplest of preparations are the best. Simply roasting tomatoes with garlic and shallots, fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and lemon makes for a tasty side dish or exquisite topping for most entrees of fish or chicken. Serve with a fresh arugula salad drizzled with rice wine vinegar and olive oil.
Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!
1 1/2 lbs seasonal fresh white fish (halibut, cod, rockfish, snapper, swordfish, mahi mahi) If the fish is fresh, it will taste delicious and hold up to roasting in the oven.
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, smashed and lightly chopped
2 tablespoons diced shallots
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (Oregano, Italian parsley, basil, rosemary or thyme)
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Mix together tomatoes, garlic, shallots, 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil until lightly coated and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Pour the tomato mixture into a baking dish or foil lined cookie sheet and roast for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes are wilted and slightly toasty. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Drizzle the fish with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil, and then sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Roast the fish until opaque in the center and flaky. Fish roasting times vary according to thickness. Start with 5-8 minutes and then check for doneness. If it isn’t done, let it continue roasting, checking every 5 minutes.
Once the fish is done, transfer to a platter. Mix the tomatoes with lemon zest and remaining fresh herbs. Top the fish with the tomatoes and herbs and serve immediately.