Versatility of Tomatoes Means the Possibilities Are Endless
by COURTNEY LAWSON
Florida is a major producer of tomatoes, meaning we have more than our fair share available to cook and experiment with.
Tomatoes are amazing because of their versatility. There are so many ways to use them; the possibilities are endless. Whether you use them in soups, sauces, jams, roasted, sun-dried, or fresh, you’ll always have options when incorporating them into your meals!
These days, tomatoes are regarded as indispensable in the kitchen at any restaurant. That even includes Chinese and Norwegian cuisine, where you would not expect to find them.
That versatility makes them a staple worth learning more about.
Fried Tomato Omelet
Cut 6 small tomatoes in half. Melt butter in a pan on high heat, add the tomatoes and add cumin and paprika to the pan to your taste. I add it generously. When the tomatoes have wilted a bit, add three eggs whisked, a pinch of salt, a few pinches of fresh thyme leaves and a tablespoon of parmesan cheese to the pan and let cook until it begins to be firm on the bottom. When it seems sturdy enough to fold, bring one side over to form a half-moon shape. At this point you may flip it. When it has cooked for another 2 minutes, remove from the pan and enjoy.
Roasted Tomato Confit
Preheat the oven to 325º F. In an oven-safe baking/casserole dish, combine 6-8 cups of cherry tomatoes with the stems removed with ⅔ cup of extra virgin olive oil, 4 sliced cloves of garlic and a half-cup of sliced fresh basil. Finish with a sprinkle of salt. Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring twice. The tomatoes should be soft, golden, and beginning to burst. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.
I like to drizzle this with balsamic and eat it on toast or add it to pasta with some lemon zest for a nice bright finish. Parmesan cheese is also nice when added to this. There are so many variations to play with! Have fun with it.
Roasted Tomato Pizza Bites
Thinly slice one beefsteak tomato and place the slices on a greased casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 400. Top the tomatoes with olive oil and herbs of your choice. I use oregano, basil, thyme, and a mix of mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top.
Bake until golden. Serve as an appetizer or side dish.