Slow-roasted tomatoes are quite easily, one of the cheapest ways to elevate a dish from mundane to sublime. Take two baskets of cherry tomatoes, halve them, arrange in a roasting pan or cookie sheet, sprinkle each with a tiny bit of kosher salt and olive oil, then roast at 175 F to 200 F for 3 hours. You can do this with regular supermarket tomatoes or seasonal produce from the farmer’s market. The best time to cook them this way is now when tomatoes are at their most flavorful. Roast two or three cookie sheets’ worth of tomatoes, use as desired and freeze or can the rest. Prepared in this manner, they provide a taste of summer while we’re in the throes of winter.
I love slow-roasted tomatoes as a garnish to roast fish or chicken, or as a salad ingredient, or passed through a food mill and transformed into pasta sauce. A friend swears by them in omelettes with smoked salmon and chevre. Here, I’ve paired them with corn fritters lightly seasoned with a hint of marjoram, an herb that belongs to the mint family but actually boasts a mild, oregano-like flavor.
Corn fritters with slow-roasted tomatoes and fromage blanc
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For the corn fritters:
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears of corn)
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
pinch of kosher salt
vegetable oil, for frying
Crush corn kernels with a strong fork or a potato masher. Combine corn, marjoram, flour, egg and salt. Stir well to blend.
Pour oil into a skillet and place over medium-high heat. Form the fritters by dropping the batter in 1-tablespoon portions into the pan, then fry the fritters until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Cook the fritters in batches, adding more oil to the pan as necessary. Drain on paper towels. Serve with a few spoonfuls slow-roasted tomatoes and a dollop of fromage blanc. If you don’t have any fromage blanc, substitute low-fat sour cream.