recipe redux: pomodori al forno

The last time I made this dish was in 2008 after reading Molly Wizenberg's Bon Appetit column. I posted a lone photograph with a link, and offered very little insight into the finished dish. It was time to revisit one of my favorite, long lost appetizers.

When two friends came over for dinner earlier this month, pumpkin risotto was on the menu, but I also wanted to make something that could serve a dual purpose of appetizer and entree side dish, should anyone need to munch on something after licking their risotto bowl clean.

I had two Roma tomatoes leftover from another dish, and just looking at them, this recipe came to mind. I had vivid memories of it. The tomato flavor was so concentrated due to the long cooking time. Their texture was succulent after absorbing generous amounts of olive oil, and they spread beautifully over a toasted crostini and a smear of goat cheese. It's really heaven.


Beware of the long cooking time. You don't have to do much, just don't expect to whip this up an hour before your guests arrive. Start around noon and they'll be ready for their debut before dinner.

Recipe adapted from Molly Wizenberg

Extra-virgin olive oil
10 Roma tomatoes, halved
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced Italian parsley
Goat cheese, for serving
1 baguette, thinly sliced and toasted

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish, add enough oil to thinly cover the bottom. Seed the tomato halves, then arrange them face up in the dish. Sprinkle with sea salt and a drizzle of oil.

Bake for 1 hour. Using tongs, turn tomatoes over. Bake 1 hour longer. Turn tomatoes over again. Bake until deep red and very tender, about 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the ripeness of your tomatoes. Remove from the oven and add the garlic and parsley.

Bring to room temperature before serving alongside goat cheese and toasted baguette slices.