Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Burnt Tomato Halves

Adapted from Seven Fires, by Francis Mallmann with Peter Kaminsky.

Serves 2

  • 2 firm but ripe tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Meanwhile cut the tomatoes in half. Brush the cut side of the tomato halves with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt to taste.

2. Place the tomatoes cut side down on the hot surface. Do not move for 8 to 10 minutes, or they will burst and lose their shape. The bottoms of the tomatoes will show a thin black line of char all around when they are done.

3. Using a sharp-edged spatula, lift the tomatoes off the hot surface and invert onto a serving plate, so that the burnt side is up. With a chef's knife, cut crosshatches into the surface of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with peppercorns and oregano, drizzle with more olive oil, and serve immediately

Note: If whole peppercorns are problematic, coarsely crack or grind them.

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