20 October 2014

End of Season Bounty = Roasted Pomodoro Delizia

We had our first hard frost last night. I knew it was coming and I knew that all my wishing it away wasn't going to work. So I spent yesterday afternoon harvesting the last of my most delicate vegetables and fruits. I  covered the rest with drop cloth. What I ended up carrying back to the house was a crate full of tomatoes, eggplant, Swiss chard, basil, and oregano. I had already stored my garlic and onions,  in the root cellar. With all these fresh ingredients tempting me,  I knew what I was making for dinner before I even opened my front door.  The first thing I did in my kitchen was turn my oven on to 450F and as it heated, I washed, chopped and tossed. By the time I heard my oven ding, my casserole dish was ready. The secret to this recipe is chop the tomatoes, eggplant, and onion small, leave the garlic whole and don't leave out the capers. And use angel hair pasta if possible. It is light enough to compliment this dish. But please if you do use angel hair, watch it carefully. In other words stay by the pot because it cooks in a few minutes. If it overcooks, dump it and try again. It must be al dente.  As it cooked, I set my table with candles and the last of my garden flowers. I also used my best silver and started my first seasonal fire in my fireplace. I turned off the lights, put on some music, and settled in to enjoy my meal.

Roasted Pomodoro Delizia

Ten plum tomatoes - chopped small
2 small eggplant - peeled and chopped small
2 cloves garlic - left whole or just sliced in half
1 onion - sliced very thin
about 8 med Swiss chard leaves - the amount depends on size. remove rib by folding the leaves in half
          and running knife along the edge of rib. Roll all the leaves together in sort of a log, then slice so
          you have thin pieces.
8 to 10 basil leaves - sliced thin
1/8 cup olive oil - or enough to mix in with vegetable to cover them lightly
2 TBS capers - large size
1 TBS - Oregano
1TBS - Italian seasoning if you have it on hand
salt and pepper to your taste. I use just a twist of each.

Mix this all together in a bowl and then put it in a casserole dish and cover. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove cover. Bake for about 25  minutes more.
I like to leave it in for at least 40 to 45 minutes, then turn oven off and let it set a bit more but keep my eye on it because I don't want it to dry out. You will know it is done when all vegetables are soft and tomatoes get a bit browned on edges. Put it on top of angel hair pasta and enjoy.

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