Right now, this minute, I feel so lucky to live where I do. Portland is sparkling with late summer bonus. We’ve got bonus sunshine (holy crap, we deserve it this year), bonus weekend days (I guess Labor Day is a thing all over the country, but you know… ), and bonus tomatoes. I can walk to work without a sweater, but our house completely cools down at night. I can spend a long weekend at the beach with friends. And, maybe most exciting, I can buy a whole bunch of extra tomatoes and roast them to make my wintertime self happy.
Every time I drop by my local farm stand, I leave with a heavy sack full of Roma tomatoes. I don’t have plans for them, but I turn on my oven and roast them later that day. I usually leave a few in the fridge for use that week, then freeze the rest. Seriously–Michael and I will say, “Thank you summertime Brittany” multiple times this winter.
This White Bean and Roasted Tomato Salad makes use of quite a few roasted tomatoes. It takes awhile to roast the ingredients, but once that’s done, it is fairly quick to throw together. I did the roasting one day, then finished up preparing the dish on a weeknight in a hurry. It received a, “Wow, this stuff is full of flavor.” from Michael. The original recipe is from Sunset magazine, but I really messed around with the proportions because they weren’t at all to my taste.
This is perfect picnic-in-the-back-yard food. Or maybe just rent-the-second-season-of-Sherlock-and-eat-in-front-of-the-computer food (which is ok, because we only do that about four times a year).
White Bean and Roasted Tomato Salad (heavily adapted from Sunset, though I can’t find the original recipe)
2-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/2 of a large red onion, cut into 3/4″ chunks
Salt and pepper
12 firm-ripe roma tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 475°. In a 9″ square baking dish, combine 1/2 teaspoon of the oil, all of the vinegar, and the onion chunks. Season with salt and pepper. In a large baking dish, arrange the tomatoes cut side up. Drizzle the rest of the oil over the tomatoes, then season with salt and pepper. Roast both the onions and tomatoes. Remove the onions when the edges are starting to darken, about 45 minutes. Remove the tomatoes when they’re reduced in size and the edges darken a little, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Pour the beans and their canning liquid in a medium saucepan with the thyme and a pinch of salt over medium heat. Simmer for 3 minutes, then strain most of the liquid off through a sieve, reserving it in a bowl. Put the beans in a bowl with the onion chunks. Chop up all but 8 or 10 of the tomato halves, and add the chopped pieces to the beans and stir. Stir in the basil if you’re using it. Pour the bean mixture into your serving dish. Arrange the whole tomato halves around the edge of the serving dish. Serve warm or at room temperature.