I spent most of my life not liking tomatoes. If forced to, I would eat them in BLTs, but I much preferred the BL part of the sandwich. I would occasionally snack on grape tomatoes, but it wasn’t until last year, when I decided I would actually cook all those [darn] recipes I’d been saving that I finally started liking tomatoes, or at least grape and Roma tomatoes. This is one of my two favorite tomato recipes.
This recipe is adapted from Tomates a la Creme in the August 09 Gourmet, which takes it from 365 Menus, 365 Recettes by Edouard de Pomiane.
- tomatoes, halved or quartered (I often do a mixture of Roma and grape tomatoes)
- Greek yogurt
- fresh garlic
- pasta (I love serving this over pasta, and prefer spaghetti or pappardelle). Time the pasta to finish BEFORE the tomatoes, so that they can be served immediately.
- red wine (because why not, and it’s great for deglazing the pan)
The trick to this dish is to allow the tomatoes to almost dry roast. This lets the garlic toast quickly when added. By adding the garlic at the end, and then deglazing the pan with the juices and wine and reducing, the flavor is punched up.
1. Warm the pan over medium heat while piercing the skin of the tomatoes in several places.
2. Drop a quarter inch of a stick of butter in the pan. Let it melt part way while evenly coating the pan.
3. Add tomatoes to pan, skins up. Increase heat to high.
4. Leave tomatoes undisturbed for several minutes, until flesh begins to brown (5 min).
5. Flip tomatoes onto skin, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return heat to medium. Cook till tender (10 min).
6. Chop 1-2 cloves of garlic. Add garlic to pan (the pan should be mostly dry by now, so you can add a bit of butter if necessary).
7. Flip tomatoes again, allowing juices to flow out (I sometimes press down on them to speed the process). Increase heat. Splash in wine to lift the garlic and any flesh that has adhered to the pan.
8. Simmer liquid to reduce somewhat and spoon in heaps of Greek yogurt around tomatoes. Stir lightly to mix with juices. Some curdling may occur, but it doesn’t change the flavor.
9. SERVE IMMEDIATELY. I cannot emphasize how much better this dish is when it is piping hot and how even keeping it simmering to prevent burning while the pasta FINALLY cooks is not warm enough.