No. 225: Roasted Tomatoes & Onions with Toast

What a week! Of eating ....

On Sunday everything fit just a touch tighter. I think my face was a bit rounder. But I swear it was worth every single bite.

The Big D

Last week I was in full fledged Decker mode, with a big trip to Dallas. With work travel came two amazing meals.

The first was at Smoke, a nice little barbecue joint across the river from downtown. I got the Big Rib and my goodness, it did not disappoint. What you see under it is cheesy hominy casserole. Huzzah!

Big Rib

The second dinner was at Boulevardier. Fresh, unique, and perfectly seasonally sourced French soul food. They have a pork chop that will change your life, and I adored my bouillabaisse boulevardier with a lobster-saffron broth.

We four colleagues happily rolled ourselves out of there and straight into bed, wishing we didn't have a program to teach the next day.

And then, Austin!

On Friday I rented a one-way rental car and drove the three hours from Dallas to Austin to meet up with two girlfriends.

This last minute get together was crucial because we had to sneak in a reunion before Aud heads off to the UK for three years of living abroad. I'm so excited for her (and so jealous)! Mr. McC and I definitely want to live abroad someday.

The weekend was just perfect. Wonderful eats at El Monumento (phenomenal duck with mole), Odd Duck (get the black olive and goat pasta!) and Snack Bar (they inspired me to make banana bread French toast someday soon).

We also hit the boutiques fun local shopping spots on South Congress. One standout was Heritage Boot.

Boots

So many design and color options! The shop smelled amazing; just like a clean, new saddle from my horse show days.

Austin also should get a medal for all the amazing signs! So positive and uplifting everywhere you turn. This was my favorite outside of Toms.

Toms sign

But ultimately, Austin was all about being together. I truly adore these two women.

I love you so much

There were some big hugs and airport tears, but we know it's just a "See you later" kind of goodbye. I can't wait for a UK reunion!

Roasted Tomatoes & Onions with Toast

Seriously, a lot of eating last week. Did you keep track of all of it up there?

Monday night we (read: I) were in need of something vegetable focused. This light and refreshing toast recipe sounded perfect.

Ingredients

Serves 3 to 4
1 pound spring or pearl onions
Scant 1 1/2 pounds cherry, grape, or sungold tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
4 to 5 big cloves of garlic
Kosher salt
4 to 5 thick slices of country bread
Basil or thyme for garnish

To make

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel your onions. Cut any larger ones in half so they will all roast at about the same speed. Dump the prepped onions, along with the tomatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves, onto a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and two three-finger pinches of kosher salt until everything is coated.

Ready to bake

Slide into the hot oven, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. You'll know they're done when the tomatoes have burst and softened, the onions are soft, and both are browned in places.

Bursting tomatoes

In the last 10 minutes of roasting, toast your bread slices. Spread each piece of toasted bread with the flesh of one roasted garlic clove. Arrange toasts on a plate or serving platter, and scrape the roasted tomatoes and onions -- and their pan juices -- over the top.

Toast

Sprinkle with a tad more salt, to taste, and the herbs, if using.

The results

Eating these toasts was like tasting summer at its peak. Roasting the tomatoes takes away all the nasty acidity that I usually don't enjoy about them, and they just melted away. The onions were also terrifically soft and sweet.

Final plate

Since I made about half of the vegetables listed in the recipe, I paired our toasts with some sweet chicken and apple sausage for a bit more substance.

You could also up the ante on the bread and top the toasts with some goat cheese for a more robust veggie option.

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