The last time I made these I was reduced to nothing more than a wild, ravenous animal as I found myself compelled to pour the pan drippings into a glass and preceded to drink from it. Hello, my name is Christine and I am shameless. I made a small batch to place atop some breakfast toast I was making and I think it was the smell that got me first. The initial scent of garlic, ripe tomatoes, olive oil, and wine wafted though my tiny apartment and I was spellbound. I kept “checking” them—with a fork and my mouth—to ensure they were coming along ok.
When there were in fact finished, and reduced in amount by nearly half, I plated my dish and went back to spoon some pan drippings over the rich, busting tomatoes. Somewhere between pan and plate, the spoon was resting between my fingers, suspended in mid air and then abruptly abandoned its course. I tasted a spoonful, then another, and another. I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around how just a few simple ingredients had yielded such a flavorful and intoxicating broth. It was like a potion! So, before I knew what I was doing I’d carefully poured the remaining juices into a glass and drank the entire thing.
Let us pause there for a moment. Let’s consider the following; is it possible to experience shame and pride in a single breath? Pride in the dish I’d made, shame in my unabashed need to consume all of it. Yeah, yeah I guess so. At that moment I knew I had to devote a separate recipe and blog post to these tomatoes. I wanted to get it up before summer’s end because I know we don’t all live in the land of perpetual sunshine where tomatoes can defy the actual seasons. If you can still get decent tomatoes wherever you are please make this while you can! And if you want to trade places with me (I’m seeking a White Christmas this year) let me know.
This recipe is very simple and perfect for a cool night when you want to feel cozy and comforted. Fresh tomatoes, tons of garlic, aromatic basil, olive oil, and dry white wine come together in the most robust and rustic way. I seasoned the whole thing to taste with bit of salt and pepper and served it in bowls along with some crusty buttered bread and glasses of the wine I’d cooked it in. Thankfully Simon’s not into tomatoes unless they are in sauce form, so I was able to eat this entire dish myself. Not in one sitting of course—maybe two.
Well I’ve gone on about this enough; it’s time for you to go make some for yourself! What is the one dish that you lose your senses over? What recipe can you barely contain yourself around? I can’t be the only one who’ll abandon all sense of decorum over the right meal…can I? Leave an embarrassing, soul-bearing comment below!
- Makes two large servings or 4 small.
- 2 lbs. tomatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for bread
- 2 bulbs garlic
- ¼ cup chopped basil, plus more for serving
- 2/3 cups dry white wine (one that’s good enough to drink!)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 French baguette
- Parmesan cheese for serving, optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Depending on the tomatoes you choose you can either halve them and remove some of the seeds or leave them whole. Since I used mostly heirloom cherry tomatoes, I opted to leave most whole.
- You can peel the individual garlic cloves or simply halve the entire bulb and leave the skin on for the baking process.
- Place tomatoes and garlic in a baking dish or cast iron skillet with olive oil and basil.
- Season with salt and pepper and toss with hands to combine.
- Add in wine and bake four about 45 minutes until garlic has softened and tomatoes are juicy and bursting.
- When tomatoes are nearly done slice baguette on a bias and drizzle slices with olive oil.
- Arrange on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden. 5-10 minutes or so.
- Spoon piping hot tomatoes in bowls with pan drippings and bread. Top with more basil and Parmesan if desired and serve a glass or two of wine!