I wanted to do this easy recipe because I wanted to discuss something I find ridiculous – the number of tomatoes in every food photo. Go to the Instagram feed of every major food and drink magazine. At least every other photo has tomatoes somewhere in it. Honestly, I eat tomatoes sparingly and certainly not by themselves. Though I’m sure if I was a big tomato fan, I would cook Tomates Grillées au Four often – the simple pleasure of eating salt, pepper, and olive oil on a vegetable tastes great.
I guess it’s the color – red. Every food photo looks better if there’s something red in it.
I bought heirloom tomatoes for this recipe for photography purposes. I don’t recommend them for this recipe, they’re ridiculously more expensive than regular tomatoes.
Ridiculous, ridiculous, ridiculous. I guess I’m trying to get rid of a Boggart as well.
As I said before, there is already a sameness to food photography because the goal of every food photographer is to make their dish look delicious. Food and drink magazines limit it even more because they have this one criteria – red in almost every photo, which usually means tomatoes. I find that to be sad and yes, ridiculous. I feel great food photography is an endangered species to be replaced by red tomatoes.
Special Equipment – a roasting pan large enough to hold your tomatoes without crowding them.
1) Firm, ripe, red tomatoes all the same size and not more than 2 inches in diameter. As you can see I used much bigger tomatoes so if you use bigger tomatoes, they take more time to cook in the oven.
2) Salt and pepper
3) Olive oil
Preparation and Baking
1) Turn the oven to 400 degrees.
2) Core the tomatoes.
2) Wash and dry the tomatoes.
3) Sprinkle salt and pepper into the hole you created when you cored the tomato.
4) Brush the tomatoes with olive oil.
5) Place the tomatoes stem down onto a large enough roasting pan where they won’t be crowded.
6) If you’re using the size that Julia says to use, bake for 10 minutes. If you used larger tomatoes like I did, bake for 20-25 minutes. You know they are done when the skins break a little but don’t wait so long that they burst.
7) Take the tomatoes out of the oven.
8) Baste them with the pan juices.
9) Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and herbs.
I think the ironic thing is that once you’ve baked these tomatoes using this recipe, they cease to look delicious at all.