25 July 2011

Roasted Summer Squash and Cherry Tomatoes

On my way back from buying random bottles of beer with interesting labels, I stumbled upon a produce store I didn't know existed. Everything looked delicious, it wasn't too expensive, and their plums where ready to eat. I picked up some cherry tomatoes, avocado, and summer squash with the intention of making a sandwich out of it for dinner. Then I lost track of time playing Dungeons of Dredmor and just ended up eating a sausage. No loss, but it did mean I had more time to contemplate what I would do with the veggies for lunch the next day. Polenta seemed like a good call - roast the roastables, eat it with polenta and beans.
Turns out, it was a pretty good meal. I used paprika and cumin, with a hint of cinnamon, on the squash and just salt and dash of cheese on the tomatoes. The polenta really needed some more flavor - more cheese, onion, garlic, something. I used 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of dry polenta, and maybe 1/8 a cup of cheese. Double that amount of cheese, at least. I would also recommend slicing the tomatoes in half before baking, as 425 degrees for 15 minutes was not enough to char them. Maybe I was just impatient and hungry, but recipes I looked up said it would only take 10 minutes at that heat. Also be very careful biting into them; the embarrassing outcome of squirting tomato juice? Much more painful when they are fresh from the oven. Seriously, it hurt.
Roasted Squash and Cherry Tomatoes
Summer squash for N people
Cherry tomatoes for N people
Olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a baking sheet lined with foil. Slice the squash into circles. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and sea salt. Put in a slice of squash, rub both sides, then rub it against a fresh piece of squash to evenly distribute the oil and cut down on how thickly coated the squash will be. Place on foil; repeat for all slices (rubbing half in the oil and rubbing the other half against an oiled slice). Afterwards, put an equal amount cumin and paprika in a bowl and sprinkle it (or rub it) over the tops of the slices.

Put in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove it, flip over the slices, and season the other side. Add a little cinnamon if you wish, then put it back in the oven. While the squash is baking, in the olive oil and salt bowl, toss the tomatoes. After the squash has been in the oven for 25 minutes, up the temperature to 425 and put the tomatoes in the oven. Cook for at least 10 minutes longer; the squash should brown and hopefully the tomatoes will as well. Sprinkle some grated cheese (like Parmigiano-Reggiano) over the tomatoes and it will melt in.

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