August seemed to sneak up on me because our garden is now completely overrun with ripe and juicy tomatoes. We have spent the past few weeks here at Peppered Salt HQ cooking down tomatoes into sauce to freeze for the fall, slicing some thin to top our pizzas or mix into pasta, and eating our heirlooms raw with a little…you guessed it… peppered salt. When our CSA box came half full of tomatoes, we knew it was time to post some tomato recipes! Luckily our CSA box had Roma tomatoes, which we aren’t growing this year, and these sweet beauties are absolutely perfect roasted. Our box had a couple eggplants, which my wife loves, so we decided to make up some roasted tomatoes and cheesy eggplant for dinner.
By the time summer ends I’m sure I’ll be sick of tomatoes. This seems to happen every year with the seasons. It’s like clockwork. By the end of summer I’ll have consumed copious amounts of tomatoes, peaches, green beans, basil, peppers, and melons to last me until next year. Let’s face it: grocery store tomatoes in the winter aren’t so hot, so while they are ripe, let’s eat our share.
Roasted tomatoes are extremely simple. All you need to do is slice the fruit in half, drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the seasoned slices on a wire rack and pop them in a hot oven for about 30 minutes. The time in the oven will depend on the size of your tomatoes, but they are pretty forgiving if you leave them in too long. These are not oven dried tomatoes, which are essentially homemade sundried tomatoes, because the hot oven allows you to keep them in just long enough to caramelize but not long enough to become leathery.
Roasting eggplant is equally as easy, though a tad less forgiving. The recipe here cooks the eggplant for a total of 30 minutes, but if you go any longer they tend to dry out and get really tough. The skin of the eggplant also needs to be observed. If you have eggplants with particularly thick or heavy skins, you should peel it off because they can become nearly inedible once roasted. I’ll leave that decision up to you, but just be sure to look at the skin after your first cut and see if it looks too thick.
Since the tomatoes can benefit from a longer roasting time, I’d recommend giving them a good 10 minute head start in the oven while you slice up the eggplant. Finally, the roasted tomatoes and cheesy eggplant definitely enjoy a good, simple sauce. I didn’t include one in the recipe, but these would pair extremely well with pesto, basil oil, or even a little sour cream. If you are feeling a little funky, try pureeing the roasted tomatoes and eggplant (without the cheese) into a thick spread and serve with crackers or bread spears.
If you too are up to your ears in tomatoes, give this roasted tomatoes and cheesy eggplant recipe a try. Serve it hot out of the oven and enjoy the eggplant parmesan tastes without any of the fried guilt.
- 12-18 Roma tomatoes
- 1 Eggplant
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- Juice from half a lemon
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degree. Clean the tomatoes and eggplant and dry.
- Dice the garlic and add to olive oil. Set aside.
- Cut the tomatoes in half. Before proceeding to cut the eggplant, test to see if the skin is thick. If so, peel the eggplant before slicing. Cut eggplant into rounds, about ¼-1/2 inch thick. Add cut tomatoes and eggplant to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. If you don't have a wire rack, just use the baking sheet.
- Add lemon juice to the cut eggplant and brush on the garlic and oil to both eggplant and tomato slices. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook tomatoes and eggplant in the hot oven for 20 minutes. Remove and top eggplant evenly with both cheeses. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is toasted and bubbly. Serve warm and garnish with basil.