Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Sides: Carmelized Tomato Salad with Smoked Gouda

One of my most favorite things about summer is delicious tomatoes. I am absolutely head over heels for fresh tomatoes that are best at the peak of summer. They are delicious in a tomato sandwich which I'm pretty sure my mom enjoys at least once a day all summer long. And by tomato sandwich I mean just that... soft fresh bread (toasted if you wish), tomatoes, mayo (or miracle whip as is the case in our family), and to top it off a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and a little dill. I also love roasted tomatoes as a super simple side dish... Roma tomatoes, olive oil, fresh garlic, salt, pepper and roast in the oven for about an hour in low heat. To make a long story short, I love tomatoes because they are absolutely delicious when you let them shine and when prepared in super simple fashion.

Now that I've professed my love to tomatoes and given you a couple super simple recipes to boot, let's get to the matter at hand... a recipe with both tomatoes and cheese... my two loves (other than the hubs and the hounds of course!). Summertime makes me want to cook lots of fresh vegetables and this recipe is one that totally enhances the freshness. It screams summer to me. It was great as a side dish. I served it with sea bass topped with a super yummy cilantro, lime, jalapeno sauce (recipe will come... promise). I think this could also be great at a summer BBQ as an app. It's super easy. Toss it all together, throw it in a bowl, toast up some bread and put it on a table for your guests to pick at until it's completely demolished.  Either way it's the perfect summer side dish.

Caramelized Tomato Salad with Smoked Gouda

2 cups olive oil
1 3/4 lb cherry tomatoes, divided
1/3 cup sugar
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
8 oz smoked Gouda
8 green onions thinly sliced
baguette, cut into about 1 inch thick slices and toasted

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place 1 1/4 tomatoes in a 8x8x2 inch metal baking dish and toss with oil, sugar, and thyme. Roast in preheated oven until tomatoes are tender, about 2 hours. Cool caramelized tomatoes in oil.

Using a slotted spoon transfer tomatoes to a large bowl. Transfer 1/2 to 3/4 cup oil from baking dish to a separate medium bowl, reserving rest of oil. Add vinegar to oil in bowl with oil. Whisk to blend oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Add reserved fresh tomatoes, cheese and dressing to bowl with caramelized tomatoes. Lightly toss just enough to combine all ingredients. Top with green onions and serve with toasted baguette slices.

Recipe adapted from epicurious 

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