¡Ask a Comida Critic! Good Tomato Dishes?

This one's a bit broad, but why not? From Nydia in Laguna Niguel:

I LOVE tomatoes--could eat them raw all day. I know about Italians and their use of tomato, of course, but are there any other restaurants that do really good with their tomatoes?

Okayyyy...I usually don't think of tomatoes other than through an Italian or Mexican prism. I can direct you to Soho Taco's heirloom pico de gallo, a wondrous concoction as colorful as a bag of Skittles and much healthier for you, and you should snack on it eventually. But I think you're asking for a full meal, so a'stewin' we should go.


How about a khoresht, the catch-all Farsi name for Persian stews? Long-cooked, mixed with other vegetables, tart and comforting and--yes--exuding tomato love, Dave and I both agree khoresht still doesn't get enough from county eaters who rightfully love Persian polos, sangak, koobideh and fessenjoon but always stray away from the bumpy stews that look like entrails.

Not fair. Do me a favor, Nydia: go to Wholesome Choice one day and check out what stews they have in stock. I prefer khoresht-e bademjan, if only because I'm an eggplant fiend, and the fleshiness of Wholesome Choice's eggplant is almost meat-like in quality. Khoresht-e gheymeh has even more tomato in it--stick with those two stews (and the others), have it poured over Wholesome Choice's almost-saintly-in-their-generosity portions of rice, and your tomato yen will find happiness for days.

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Wholesome Choice

18040 Culver Drive, Irvine, CA

Category: Restaurant

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S. Britchky
S. Britchky

(1) Stem ripe tomatoes and slice in half. (2) Scrape out seeds. (3) Sprinkle the cut sides with salt, pepper, fine-minced garlic, and olive oil. (4) Place under a broiler for about eight minutes (rotating occasionally), until the tomato tops are browned but not burned. Sprinkle lightly with chopped fresh parsley or basil, and serve as a (fantastic) side dish for steak. Any extra, keep in fridge overnight, place in saucepan, and cook down briefly. Check seasoning. Outstanding on many forms of pasta, especially capellini.

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