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Simple fancy lunch // Slow-roasted tomatoes + creamy pesto sauce + fresh mozzarella cheese

 

Today’s post was supposed to involve Brussels sprouts. Gorgeous, purple Brussels sprouts. Yes, I know– I swooned too. They are, however, still tucked in my refrigerator because a) I couldn’t commit to a recipe (and by recipe, I mean winging it and tossing it with stuff I already have in the house) and b) I didn’t have the vessel I wanted to cook it in. So, after a good half and hour of searching the web for appropriate vessel and finding all the cool ones to be over $200 (!!) and also realizing that duh, it wouldn’t get here in time anyway, I puttered around in my kitchen, lamenting on the relationship between my dying money tree and extraordinarily expensive taste, hungry and looking for something to eat.

Fortunately, I had the foresight to have made these roasted tomatoes early in the morning since they needed several hours to roast at low temp and were ready for me come lunchtime. With leftover pesto sauce from the spaghetti I made last week and a small ration of fresh mozzarella cheese still tucked away in the fridge, the thought to smash them together for a quick salad lunch came naturally. And it was so simple and so good that I wanted to share it with you all. Just goes to show that delicious food needn’t be fussy.

 

 

Slow-roasted tomatoes + creamy pesto sauce + fresh mozzarella cheese

[slow-roasted tomatoes recipe adapted very slightly from Not Without Salt]

Makes enough for about 6 people, with extra pesto sauce to go with pasta, sandwiches, whatevs the rest of the week

 

3 vine-ripe tomatoes, or whatever else you have laying about (Heirlooms would be beyond gorgeous), sliced 1/4″ thick

Olive oil (In hindsight, I should’ve used garlic olive oil to pump up the flavor but regular ‘ol olive oil did the trick just fine too)

Salt

 

Creamy pesto sauce (Peruvian-style, my grandma’s recipe)

 

Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

S + P

Olive oil, for drizzling

 

// Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Grab a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Lay the sliced tomatoes onto the paper and season delicately with salt. Drizzle with olive oil. Stick this in the middle rack of your oven and let it roast for about 3 1/2 hours or until the tomatoes have shrunk considerably but are still juicy. I let these go longer and ended up with some tomatoes that looked more like chips! Not what I was aiming for but they were crispy and beautiful anyway. Hurrah for kitchen mistakes that turn into lovely kitchen discoveries!

When the tomatoes are done (and you’ll be so thankful because the smell of these guys roasting for hours will have you intoxicated by then and super giddy to finally give them a try!), serve them with fresh mozzarella slices, pesto sauce, and extra salt and pepper + a drizzle of olive oil. This was so good as a light lunch but I reckon they’d also be delicious to have as an appetizer or salad before the meal.

 

[tomato chips anyone?]

 

Buen provecho, friends!

 

Stephanie - Hey Erin! *waves* I adore creamy pesto, and this one especially since it’s a family recipe. It’s a cooked pesto as well– the baby spinach and basil are wilted just before adding to the blender. This is definitely good stuff. :)

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie - I don’t think I’ve ever had creamy pesto but I think I must!

Stephanie - Hey Eileen! Yes, it would be amazing in the summer when we get our bounty of tomatoes! I can’t wait for that and I hope to make a bunch of these and store them in jars with olive oil and herbs to keep for many, many months. Summer, where are you?!

Eileen - This sounds like the perfect lunch for midsummer, when we’ll be buried in the best tomatoes! OM NOM etc. :)

Stephanie - Hi Brittany! A toasted crostini would be delicious and I might even suggest pan-seared tofu too (the extra firm kind). But I’m a huge love of tofu so I’d pretty much eat it with anything. :)

Brittany - I love colorful snacking! Unfortunately I don’t eat cheese but I’m thinking maybe a crostini?

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