Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pan Sauteed Tomatoes

Again, I've been on hiatus. I know. Holidays and work have caused me to resort only to cooking things I've already posted, or I forget to take pictures until halfway through a meal. Don't give up on me.

So, what do you do when you buy a couple of nice vine-ripe tomatoes (or get them in your CSA vegetable delivery box), life gets in the way before you can use them while they're still just perfectly ripe, and you are left with a slightly soft, overripe tomato? If you're anything like me, you don't want to eat that tomato raw. You know it's going to be slightly starchy, and mushy, and just won't live up to its tomato potential. Too many times, those tomatoes end up in the garbage or on the compost pile.

Until now. 

This dish is VERY quick and is simple in its flavor profile. You can fix these tomatoes while you cook a full meal, can make them for breakfast with some hummus and rustic bread (try toasting it in the oven!), or use them as a side for tons of other dishes. They have a little bit of heat, and are super healthy.

Total Prep Time: 3 minutes

Total Cook Time: 10 minutes

What you will need:

1-2 vine ripe tomatoes (slightly soft, overripe is the best kind of tomato for this dish)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
Sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Using a serrated knife, slice your tomatoes into thick horizontal slices, like so:

In a small saute pan (avoid non-stick pans for this dish), heat the olive oil on medium heat, and make sure it coats the entire bottom of the pan. You want the oil to be shimmering, but not actually crackling yet. If it gets too hot accidentally, then just reduce the heat and let it cool for a minute before taking the next step.

Place your tomato slices in a single layer on the bottom of the saute pan. They should make a delightful frying sound. 

Once they're in the oil, sprinkle salt and pepper over them, then take a tiny bit of garlic and spread it on each piece of tomato. Shake a few chili flakes on the tomatoes, too.

Let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes, then flip them. Season the other side, which should be slightly bubbled from the oil.

Let the tomatoes cook on the second side, adding whatever garlic is left directly to the oil, for approximately three minutes. Then, turn off the heat and transfer to a serving dish, pouring the oil over the tomatoes. They should stick together, but it's ok if the skin is starting to separate from the tomato a bit.

Serve, and enjoy!

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