Like baseball, grilling season has begun.
And like the Red Sox, I came out of the box with an epic failure. However, unlike the Red Sox I managed to not have six failures in a row. I call those short ribs a win.
Looks like the entire Red Sox lineup finally got it together, and I’m guessing it’s because they are all avid Food Hound fans and went right home to make those ribs. They have a tendency to bring out the best in people. But back to my epic failure…
I put some nice, juicy, grass-fed (always!) burgers on the grill. Oh, my did they look good when I flipped them. Perfect grill marks, nice and plump shape… we were in for a treat.
Except that we weren’t because upon shutting the lid to the grill, they literally combusted into flames. What I ended up with were two nearly inedible black hockey pucks. I’m not even sure the Doberhound would have eaten them. You could have put them on her black fur and been unable to tell they were there. Dinner was charred, not unlike the Red Sox pitchers.
Luckily I hit a walk-off home run with my side dish 🙂
I wanted something equally as summery to usher in Opening Day. When you want something summery, the answer is always pesto! I chose to make Pesto-Roasted Tomatoes. All of the sudden, we really didn’t miss the burgers.
I know it’s not really tomato season yet, but you roast these babies and can therefore use the pale, crap-tastic winter tomatoes that are still in the grocery store. Hey, I like to eat as seasonally as the next Hound, but sometimes a girl has to have a juicy tomato. Roasting them concentrates the flavors and makes them delicious. And the pesto? I have a huge bag of frozen pesto cubes from my pesto festo last summer. If you weren’t quite as judicious with your pesto provisions over the winter, I’m sure store-bought would suffice. But do yourself a favor and make and freeze extra next year. Once you take one bites of these luscious tomatoes, you’ll be soooo glad you did.
And now, to further celebrate Opening Day for Grilling Season, I am announcing my first giveaway!!
I picked up a bag of Smoked Peppercorns and Coconut Oolong Tea at The Spice and Tea Exchange in Asheville for one lucky Food Hound lover. This store rivals Penzey’s in their selection and quality of spices and blends, and they have a lovely selection of teas. If you live near one, get there! If not, let me send you some treats! The Smoked Peppercorns? Perfect for grilling meat. The tea? Perfect for chilling while your cabana boy (or girl) rubs sunscreen on your back.
There are three ways to enter: leave a comment below, follow me on Twitter @thefoodhound, or like The Food Hound on Facebook. Leave a separate comment for each for a total of three chances to win! If you’re not a food blogger or have your contact information in your profile, please leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win! If you win and I don’t have your contact info, I’ll have to pick another winner, booo. This contest will close at 11:59 pm (EST) on Thursday, April 14th, so get in while you can!!
Roasted Tomatoes with Pesto
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
2-2 1/2 lbs large red tomatoes (best NOT to use heirlooms here- they’ll get mushy)
3 T good olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 c pesto, store-bought or homemade
1/2 c freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (the good stuff 🙂
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Core the tomatoes, then slice them across in 1/2″ slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and sprinkle with oregano, 1 tsp salt, and pepper.
3. Bake the tomatoes for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, spread each slice with pesto, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Return the tomatoes to the oven and continue baking for 7-10 minutes, until the Parmesan is melted and begins to brown. Using a flat metal spatula, put the tomatoes on a serving platter, sprinkle with extra salt (to taste) and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.