Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ode to the Jersey Tomato

I wait all year for NJ tomatoes! There is nothing in the world like them! Growing up in NJ - Quakertown, NJ - not PA! (Franklin Township) to be exact, the first tomato day of the season was like a holiday. Yes, I am a Jersey girl who even eats tomato sandwiches (tomatoes, white bread, mayonnaise and a splash of salt and vinegar- delish)! I now live near the Jersey Shore and the first tomatoes are from South Jersey. I am so excited for my first local tomato. I love to pick them up roadside in Wall, NJ - the honor system - some of the most awesome fruit left on a table with a can to leave the money- homegrown goodness and trust in humanity - I love NJ! Beefsteak - especially split open (they are the sweetest) and Ramapo tomatoes - yum! I use them a thousand ways but sometimes simplicity is best. Enjoy the fleeting goodness...

Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella

NJ Tomatoes sliced in half
fresh garlic minced
quality extra virgin olive oil
fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced)
fresh torn basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Not so much a recipe, but a compilation. Fresh, quality ingredients make this spectacular.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice NJ tomatoes in half and place in baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Next, add minced fresh garlic to taste. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Place in oven and roast until perfect (juices start to burst). Add a slice of fresh mozzarella to the bottom half, add the top, and top with fresh torn basil. Enjoy - and despite all of NJ's downfalls - no one can take away this - we are top tomato!

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