This month, the Cookbook Guru’s feature cookbook is The Food of Morocco, by Paula Wolfert. Paula Wolfert is an acclaimed American cookbook author who specialises in Mediterranean cooking.
The Food of Morocco is her latest book. It is an expanded version of her 1973 book, Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco, a book which is still in print after 40 years. If you have this book or can get it from your local library, why not join in? Just make a recipe from the book, write a post and then send a link to the post to Leah, alias the Cookbook Guru. Leah will then reblog your post on The Cookbook Guru site.
I was keen to post this recipe, asap, because I know many people currently have tomatoes galore and slow roasted tomatoes are the best way I know of preparing them. Even if you don’t have a vegie patch, tomatoes are very cheap at the moment. Roasted tomatoes freeze very well so it is a great way of preserving some for later in the season.
Most people would be familiar with slow roasted tomatoes but the addition of rose-water makes this recipe just a little different. The recipe is actually called ‘Oven-roasted tomatoes with toasted pine nuts’ but I thought, “Since the addition of rose water is what makes these tomatoes stand out from the norm, I will take liberty with the recipe title.”
The recipe calls for the tomatoes to be slow roasted for 3 hours at 250°F (120°C). The temperature is then turned up to 400°F (200°C)for 30 minutes. On my first attempt, I put them in the oven for 3 hours and forgot about them. When I finally checked, I had dried (not roasted) tomatoes. The next time, I roasted them for 2 hours then turned up the oven for an additional 30 minutes. They were fine, but a little too charred for my liking (see picture on the left). I eventually settled on 2 hours at 120°C (top photo). If you prefer your tomatoes a little dryer, or a little more charred, by all means adjust the cooking time.
The recipe calls for 6 Roma tomatoes but each time I used many more than that and had sufficient topping. I guess it depends on how heavy a ‘sprinkler’ you are.
- ripe Roma (or similar) tomatoes
- coarse sea salt
- 1 tbs* raw sugar
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1 tbs* olive oil
- 2 tbs* rosewater
- 2 tbs* pine nuts or sesame seeds, toasted.**
*These are 15 mil tablespoons
** To toast the pine nuts or sesame seeds: put them in a dry pan and heat until lightly golden, stirring all the while.
- Cut each tomato in half, horizontally, and scoop out the juice and seeds.
- Lightly salt the tomatoes.
- Place the tomatoes cut side down on paper towels, and let drain for 30 minutes.
- Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer in a baking tray which is either lined with baking paper or has been lightly oiled.
- Mix one teaspoon of coarse salt with the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle a pinch over each tomato half. Drizzle with the olive oil.
- Preheat your oven to 120°C.
- Roast the tomatoes in the preheated oven 2 hours.
- Remove the roasted tomatoes from the oven. Splash with the rosewater. Set aside until cooled to room temperature.
- Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds on top and serve. Very yummy.