I toyed with the idea of lying to you all. I was going to get up here and tell you that the bowl of food featured above was Amazing, in effect perpetuating the lie I started telling myself a few days ago.
Softball sized tomatoes have a way of speaking to a cook. Like a freak challenge staring me in the face these vegetable-stand sirens beckoned; and I fell for it.
Roasting automatically came to mind.
They looked right -prepped with olive oil, salt and pepper. A whole garlic head completed the mix and I was totally optimistic.
Shriveled, shrunken and browned in places, my tomato project looked like a success . They cooled for an hour and I began to peel away the skin licking oil from my fingers. Infused with salt and garlic juice it was warm and fragrant. And the tomatoes smelled sweet. I was in the home stretch. All I had to do was blend it up and season to taste.
The first indication that things weren’t so fabulous was the post-blend salmon pink color. I offered Zack a taste and he responded, “I don’t like cream sauce.”
“Cream! There’s no cream in this.”
But dairy wasn’t a bad idea. If anything was going to save this pale tasteless goop, it was going to be parmesan and fresh basil.
Blended all together with al dente pennette, it looked pretty, but still tasted blah.
So here’s the big lesson: good food begins with good ingredients and no amount of culinary strong arming can make up for poor product. But that doesn’t mean you should give up tomato roasting altogether. If your neighbor just slipped a shopping bag of garden tomatoes around the handle of your front door, go ahead and preheat the oven. The rest of us need to take a look at the canned veggie section.