May 20, 2012 - Oven Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes; a pending success.
There is a very, very simple recipe that I have enjoyed for years, but only ever tried as a rustic sauce for spaghetti or mussels. The procedure involves many cherry tomatoes, halved, and joined with crushed garlic cloves, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, coarse salt and pepper, fresh sprigs of thyme and a little bit more olive oil drizzled over the top. This gets placed in an oven at 400°F (205°C) for about half an hour or so. That extra bit of oil at the end helps to draw out the natural oils in the thyme to permeate the tomatoes. The dry heat breaks down the tomatoes and their flavour becomes very concentrated. While the garlic and roasting give the flavour of the tomatoes a lot body, the balsamic sweetens during the cooking process. After coming out of the oven, the garlic and thyme are removed and what you are left with is a beautiful, sweet, savoury and herbaceous Italian red sauce.
It's been a while since I've prepared this sauce so I made some today. Only this time I'm using it as a marinade for chicken breasts. I picked up a few skinless, boneless chicken breasts from my butcher. Each chicken breast received four pricks with a fork on each side and has been smothered with our amazing balsamic-tomato sauce for about seven hours now. I gave the bag a few flips in the fridge over the course of marinating process to ensure maximum sauce coverage. In a few moments here I'm going to try baking them and putting together a couple of other Italian inspired side dishes.
It's Sunday so as you might have guessed, I'm making enough of this so that I'll have lots of leftovers I can eat for quick meals throughout the week. Since I'm going to be making several meals out of it, it's going to stay pretty healthy. I'll post a picture of it when it's all done.
Wish me luck, I hope this turns out as good as it's looked and smelled so far.
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