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Slow-Roasted Tomatoes with Lemon-Oregano Oil April 15, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Recipe, Roasting, Side Dish, Veggies.
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1 lb. plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 1/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 fresh basil leaves
12 whole fresh oregano leaves, plus 3 tbsp. finely chopped
2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Toss tomatoes with sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Arrange, cut sides down, in a small shallow baking pan. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Cook garlic 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in basil and whole oregano leaves. Remove oil from heat and pour over tomatoes. Roast tomatoes until very tender but not falling apart, about 2-1/2 hours.

Transfer tomatoes with a spatula to a large plate, then pour oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl or measuring cup, discarding solids. Stir in chopped oregano, zest, juice, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper.

Arrange tomatoes on plates and drizzle with seasoned oil.

Time to Prepare: 15 minutes + 2-1/2 hours roasting

Difficulty: 1/10

Serves: 3 or 4

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This is a great dish for weekdays if your oven can be programmed for timed cooking. The ingredients can be prepped in about 15 minutes. Just set the timer for about 2 hours before you get home. If you get home on time, you’ll get to check them before taking them out. And if you don’t, they’ll be waiting for you anyway. If you won’t be home to take them out promptly, cook them for about 15-25 minutes less — they will continue to cook even after the oven is turned off, because ovens don’t cool immediately.

Braised Cabbage April 1, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Braising, Recipe, Side Dish, Veggies.
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2 lb. head of green cabbage
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, cut into rounds
1/4 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt
pepper
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 325° F. Cut cabbage into 8 wedges. Arrange wedges in dutch oven or other braising pot such that they overlap as little as possible. Scatter carrot and onion over cabbage. Drizzle olive oil and stock over cabbage. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cover pot with parchment paper and put the lid on.

Cook the cabbage for 2 hours. After one hour, turn the wedges of cabbage over and drizzle it with the balsamic vinegar.

Cabbage can be served immediately. Or it can be held, covered and refrigerated, for up to two days. To reheat, bake for 10 minutes at 400° F with the lid off.

Time to Prepare: 5 minutes preparation + 2 hours baking

Difficulty: 1/10

Serves: 4 to 6

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This dish is so simple and delicious it’s already becoming something of a favorite and a staple after only two cookings. (Two in the same week!) I am not the hugest fan of cabbage — it’s kind of a ho-hum vegetable in my mind — but this preparation completely transforms the insipid cabbage into a rich, sweet, deeply-flavored side dish.

The dish virtually cooks itself. If need be, the turning of the cabbage can be omitted and the vinegar added at the start, making this an ideal candidate for cooking with the oven-timer while at work. (When cooking with a timer, I usually reduce the cooking time of long, slow dishes by fifteen minutes — because ovens can take so long to cool down, it will actually finish off the dish nicely even after the oven is off.)

The 1/8 tsp. of red pepper adds a surprising nip to the cabbage which wakes it up. This amount of pepper is too much for Connor, but I haven’t heard any complaints from adults.