Wednesday, May 16, 2007

“Roasted” Tomato and Balsamic Vinaigrette – We really need to concentrate on this one!

I worked with a Chef, way back when, who made this amazingly delicious roasted tomato vinaigrette. He would slice a whole pan of Roma tomatoes lengthwise and slowly roast them in a very low oven until the sugars and acids in the fruit would condense and caramelize and concentrate into a delicious mass. This took about 5-6 hours. Then, these roasted tomatoes were cooled, pureed, and with the addition of some oil and vinegar, turned into a wonderfully complex vinaigrette. It was so good next to any grilled fish, meat, veggies, etc. The only thing I didn’t like was the extended cooking time.

Now, the whole reason for the long, slow roasting was to concentrate the flavors. So, I thought I could duplicate it by using a really good, double-concentrate tomato paste and nicely aged balsamic vinegar. It worked. Is it as good? Who knows? Yet another “subjective mater of taste” argument. Do I always use the shortcut method? No, I do (when I have time) love a nice pan of slow roasted, caramelized Roma tomatoes. They are great served whole on burgers, and as a side dish with many main dishes. In fact, now I have to demo the original method! Anyway, here is a 5 minute version that will pair wonderfully with so many things, and you’re only a few minutes away. I used this on my Pan Seared Perch with Fried Capers recipe, so if you haven’t seen that one, check it out. By the way, this is also very nice with I touch of fresh garlic, which I didn’t use this time…hey, I can’t use garlic in every recipe! Enjoy.

1 tbl tomato paste (double-concentrate)
1 tbl aged Balsamic vinegar
1 tbl rice vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 tbl olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Anonymous said...

lol, actually i saw a monkey playing guitar! weird.

kellypea said...

That was great. Definitely something to try. I'm curious about the slow roasting version as well. Yum!

Chef John said...

basically you make your own tom. paste by roasting the roma tomatoes for hours. the balsamic vin in my version simulates the caramelization that occured. But i will demo the orginal sometime. Thanks!

Steffen said...

Nice recipe.

If you only tell a temperature to roast at for 5-6 houers, then you dont need to demo it ;)

Chef John said...

low oven, maybe 175-200F.