I started to reach a point of vegetable saturation recently, and it was having the net effect of making me uninterested in cooking or processing any of the food at all. I knew it had to be done, but for whatever reason, was digging in my heels.
The refrigerator was full to the brim with food I had no time to prepare. Any time a friend came over and looked in there, they made a puzzled comment or three. My counter was overflowing with, among other things, yellow pear tomatoes, and I had this dilemma: What to do with them that wouldn’t take very long and would be absolutely non-taxing, but would still show them off in their best light?
I thought back to a comment Sara of Farming Friends posted on my Picked on the Fourth of July post earlier this summer: She had suggested roasting tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, which sounded so delicious that, although I haven’t made the recipe yet, I’ve thought about it an awful lot.
I had some prepared polenta in the refrigerator, and decided roasting the tomatoes would accomplish all my goals: use up some of my burgeoning produce stock while requiring a minimal investment of energy on cooking.
I roasted up the tomatoes, fried up the polenta, topped one with the other, added some Parmesan, and voila (or woo-lah, as one of my former newspaper editors used to say…), I had dinner. It was satisfying, it was delicious, and it boosted the blah flavor of the yellow pears. Here’s to keeping things less-than-complicated.
Four cups yellow pear or cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (use the good stuff for this one, because the flavor will concentrate)
Salt and pepper
Tube of prepared polenta
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Shredded parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the tomatoes in a ovenproof pan and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat.
- Roast the tomatoes for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are puffy and starting to get juicy and the balsamic vinegar is starting to look thick and caramel-like in the pan.
- Meanwhile, slice the polenta into eight equal rounds. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan, swirl so it covers the bottom, and cook the polenta rounds approximately 7-9 minutes per side, or until they are brown and slightly crispy.
- Serve the tomatoes over the polenta. Top with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.