Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Great . . . very simple tomato thing

We wait all year for good tomatoes, and then we have so many, we wonder what to do with them all.

This dish can't help you with the big slicers. It's something for simple to do with small, one-bite tomatoes, like cherries or even Sungolds when you need to use up a pile of them. Even better: You can hang on to this and use it on grape tomatoes the rest of the year.

It's incredibly simple: You just roll the tomatoes in dried herbs and place them in the dry air of the refrigerator. When they dry, they have a crispy coating, great for popping in your mouth and noshing. Put out a plate of them as an appetizer, or add them to an antipasti or cheese platter. Or throw them in your lunch box instead of chips with your sandwich.

The recipe came from Elizabeth Karmel, who made a name for herself on the barbecue circuit and now is the executive chef of the very successful Hill Country barbecue and fried chicken restaurants in New York and Washington. Good for her on all counts.

Tumbled Tomatoes
From Elizabeth Karmel.

1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon coarse or flaky sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dehydrated garlic or garlic powder
2 pints bite-size tomatoes, such as cherry or grape

Grind or crush the herbs de Provence, salt and garlic in a salt grinder or in a mortar with a pestle.

Wash the tomatoes in cold water, then drain but do not dry. In a large serving bowl, toss the tomatoes with the herb mixture until they are evenly coated.

Refrigerate the bowl, uncovered, until all the water is evaporated, at least 3 hours and up to overnight. Toss or "tumble" the tomatoes in the bowl occasionally, until the herb and salt mixture has formed a crust on the tomatoes. Serve chilled.