Roasted Caprese Salad

December 20, 2011

Greetings from the petri dish, Readers!

I am really, really happy to be here, but my visit will be brief.  I’m still a little spinny and poor Miss M. is down with the vomits–which given her raw, post-tonsillectomy throat seems like twelve kinds Karmic Assholery, don’t you think? When that sunny, sprightly spirit is mad at the world, you know it’s time for God to dump on somebody else.

I’m just going to save myself some bother and pitch a tent in the bathroom, because that’s where all the quality time is happening. I do believe I’m going to install a disco ball and a cocktail lounge in there soon.

How wrong it is that a (quasi) food blog has been all about vomit and woe lately? Vomit has throttled my blog, bled it dry and eaten it for dinner with a nice Chianti.

I’m so, so, sorry.

Just for a change of pace, I’m going to share some good news with you all today.  Don’t pass out from the shock of it.

Remember how woeful and morose I was about the demise of summer tomatoes? Remember how I whined incessantly for the entirety of August and September?

God, I’m an annoying creature.

But I love you, and am so grateful to those of you who stick with my crotchety banter, so I’m going to reward you with a little secret today.

Pssst: you do not have to suffer through an entire winter of shitty tomatoes. You don’t! Seriously!

Okay, okay, I will amend that statement by telling you that yes, you still have to purchase the shitty winter tomatoes in the grocery store, but you do not have to eat them that way.  Therein lies all the difference.

The antidote to shitty winter tomatoes is remarkably simple. Slow-roast those suckers into submission.  Flavored simply with some balsamic, olive oil, sugar and a little herbage, roasted slowly under mild heat, winter tomatoes become worthy of the dinner table again.

They’re so worthy of eating again that they can even lend themselves to my second favorite salad on the planet, Ensalate Caprese, which delights me no end. Normally, winter caprese=tastebud suicide. But no more.

With this recipe, you can wear your mukluks and eat your caprese, too.  Most excellent, no?  Plus, just look at those colors…don’t they just scream Christmas to you?  This year, I’m serving this salad on the holiday buffet table, right beside the heavy gratins and gravies.  It will be a welcome reminder of warmer days to come, and your ass will love you, too, for giving it something a little lighter to exist on.

*shaking fist in the air* Save the Ass!

I hope you readers are well, and happy, and looking forward to a cozy holiday with the ones you love most. No disco ball installation necessary.

Winter Caprese Salad

serves 10 (can easily be halved)

10 plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

salt and pepper

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or herbs de Provence

2 cloves garlic, minceed

several balls of fresh mozzarella cheese

fresh basil leaves

extra olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a very heavy, rimmed baking sheet with several layers of heavy-duty foil.

Cut the tomatoes in half and toss with the olive oil. Arrange them, cut-side up, on baking sheet. Sprinkle tomatoes with sugar, salt, pepper. Drizzle the balsamic over them and sprinkle with dried herbs and minced garlic.

Roast in the oven until the tomatoes are deep red, reduced in size and the edges are caramelized, for about 3 hours (check them often after the first 1 1/2 hours–ovens vary wildly in temperature).

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber December 20, 2011 at 9:41 am

I think God likes to play mean tricks on your family–sickness during holidays and vacations is pure suckage.

As for this salad, OMG I am going to die because it looks like pure bliss.

Love you to pieces!


TKW December 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Love you to pieces, too. Keep growing that sweet baby. xo


Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon December 20, 2011 at 9:52 am

So sorry that it’s turning into a craptastic holiday at your house. At least you’ve got submissive tomato caprese salad to look forward to. Happy holidays lady.


TKW December 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Happy to you, too Wendi! The spins are much better–but still the computer makes me woozy, so I feel like an addict in withdrawl. I can handle 30 min. at a time now, which is progress!


Samantha @ Bikini Birthday December 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

That’s an awesome idea. I can eat tomatoes in the winter again! *fist pump*


TKW December 20, 2011 at 6:57 pm


Your comment makes me think of the song (which is sticky as heck) about, “All the other kids/with the pumped up kicks/better run, better run/faster than my gun…”

When I first heard it I thought it was “with the pumped up fist…” ;)


Jane December 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

Ooooo! This is going to be the perfect side for our Christmas Eve dinner! Yum. Thank you for the inspiration. (And fingers crossed for a Christmas miracle at your house. You all don’t deserve this. You don’t. xo)


Kate December 20, 2011 at 11:41 am

I’ll keep my family’s petri dish to myself, but send virtual hugs.
Yum, roasted tomatoes. Yum.


Jenna December 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I’m a full supporter of 1) a disco ball in the toilet, 2) your crotchety banter, and 3) roasting tomatoes into submission. This salad will have to make an appearance at my table soon!


Dana December 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I love the idea of this salad (it may have to do with living in a place where it’s -20 C of lower half of the year). I could eat this with mukluks on.

As for the disco ball, that makes me think of a house we saw while we were house shopping, there was a giant chandelier in this tiny bathroom. It was the best part of that weird little house.

Hopefully you (and Miss M) are both on the mend soon!


elizabeth December 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Oh dearie–I hope everyone mends quickly! And hell YES to roasted tomatoes! It’s not quite the same as summer tomatoes, but when you need a fix, dammit, you need a fix.

I’m posting a Save-The-Ass recipe in the next day or two that I think you’ll especially enjoy. :)


TKW December 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm


I can’t wait!


pamela December 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm

How are you even still standing? Still sane?? Made your truffles the other day and mostly am relieved I didn’t eat them all they were so good. I am going to try this one too.

Here’s to your health in 2012. Hugs to those girls. My boys are sick too if it makes you feel any better. The sickness that makes green come out your nose. Today we were all cranky. Tis the season.


Stephane December 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Are you needing a kuspuk to go with those mukluks? I’m your gal! I hope Miss M. is feeling spritely again, soon. I’m also hoping your immune system is tip-top! P.S. Don’t forget that “Save the ass!” bumper sticker when your equilibrium returns!


TKW December 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm


I just read your amazing post. Dang, you can write.

Hope the green snots go away soon, and that the crankies get the Hell out, too. For some reason, our whole town has been passing the vomits around for months. Not any better than the green snots, but you do have my sympathy. xoxo


SuziCate December 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm

I love Caprese, so you can bet I’ll be trying this!
Hope all is well soon in your house…we’ve had our share here as well…stinks for sure!


Ink December 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Hope you all are on the mend. More hugs!

I love les tomates, so MERCI beaucoup for this recipe. Looks amazing.

So glad to be blogging again. Missed your great posts! xoxo


Mary Lee December 21, 2011 at 6:45 am

Consider this your Christmas present to my Dearly Beloved.

Believe it or not, we just ate the last heirloom tomato from our garden. Remember, those suckers didn’t even show up until October. My tomato-growing talents are inimitable.

PS. Is Mother Nature dumping on you?


TKW December 22, 2011 at 6:40 am

Mary Lee,

Well, it’s certainly dumping snow, but this is the only time of year that I actually welcome it!


Contemporary Troubadour December 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Disco ball: genius.

I hope the holiday takes a turn towards calmer stomachs soon. And oh, how I miss caprese! Perfect holiday ass saver, in so many ways.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes December 22, 2011 at 5:51 am

Roast them! OMG, why didn’t I think of that! Joy to the world and a calm stomach to Miss M. Poort thing.
Happy holidays!


Belinda December 22, 2011 at 11:55 am

Good olive oil can make anything taste good! I was at a party recently and somehow went home with a big bottle of McEvoy olive oil which I’ve been pouring on everything that goes in the oven. Yum!


Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac December 23, 2011 at 7:30 am

Adding three things to my to-do list:
1. Work “karmic assholery” into a conversation.
2. Google “mukluk”
3. Make this recipe.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri December 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I know the vertigo muck! Feel better soon Kitch. Will def try this recipe.


Salad in a Jar December 27, 2011 at 9:06 am

Where did you get the fresh basil? Wish I would have fixed this for Christmas. Happy New Year to you and your family with a special blessing for you and your mama.


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