Sunday, 1 September 2013

Whole-some Weekends: Roasted Tomato Salad

Weekends are meant to be a time when we slow down. Recover. Rejuvenate. Reconnect with our people and ourselves.

All too often the world conspires to steel away our leisure time. Or at least it feels that way. But we do it to ourselves.  We overcommit. Bounce around from one scheduled event to another - meetings, groceries, the kids soccer game. We feel obliged to attend it all. We get to the end of the weekend feeling exhausted....something is amiss.

Instead of filling up our time we need to let time fill us up.  So turn off the TV, put down the scheduler, and back away from that smartphone. It's time to kick off your shoes and hang out in the kitchen. Put on some music - sing, dance, or chat - and get creative with some good whole foods.

Unlike Real Fast Food recipes that we make during the week when we are busy, Whole-some Weekend recipes might take a few more minutes. You can add or change things depending on your mood or what's in season and growing in your garden. Explore different flavours and textures and see what grabs you.

The act of creating is in itself a form of therapy. It heals us. Rights the balance. Ask any artist you know. But you don't have to be Picasso to create a thing of beauty. An amazing salad or scrumptious appie works just as we'll.

Saturday lunch is one of my favourite times to graze on fresh veggies, fruit and cheeses. You can put out what was purchased that morning from the market, or better yet harvested from your own garden. 

Right now the tomatoes are coming on in full force. We can't eat all of them at once so we roast some and put them in the freezer to use in the middle of winter. While roasting we make sure we "sample" some of the goods just to make sure they meet quality control standards. Gman makes the tomatoes while I prep the salad, cheese, and fruit. 

Roasted Tomato Salad

Fresh tomatoes cut in half (any type you have available - a mix of varieties is great)
Olive oil
Fresh herbs
Salt & Pepper
Salad greens (any kind but I prefer romaine for this salad) 
Parmesan Cheese
Kalamata Olives pitted
1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 garlic clove crushed, 1 tbsp dijon mustard

Put tomatoes cut side up on parchment paper in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with olive oil, fresh herbs, salt & pepper, and dot with pieces of butter. Cook at 400 degrees on the top rack of the oven for 40 minutes. Put salad greens, olives, and crumbled chunks of parmesan in a large bowl. Mix all dressing ingredients in a bowl and let it rest until the tomatoes are ready. Once the tomatoes are done and have cooled to room temperature add some of the pan juices to your salad dressing and toss the salad with the dressing (you may not use it all depending on how big your salad is). Top with the roasted tomatoes and give a final sprinkle with some parmesan. Serve with platters of fruit, fresh vegetables and cheeses.

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