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What's Cooking? - Posted July 24, 2015 10:37 a.m.
Photos by Shannon Richardson

We Say Tomato

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Whether you’ve planted a small backyard plot, browsed the local farmers market, or stepped into the grocery store, you can’t help but notice the proliferation of gleaming red tomatoes. The August heat means most varieties are ready to eat. But what next? We’d heard a number of local diners rave about the garlic roasted tomatoes at Real Food Café on Sixth Street (you’ll find them on the Bacon Tomato Crepe and atop the BLT Salad), so we asked owners Andy and T Price if they’d be willing to share. “It’s a beautiful combination,” T says of their simple recipe. “The roasting intensifies the sweetness of the tomato and mellows out the garlic. You don’t even need them as a side dish. They’re wonderful to just pop in your mouth.” Even so, T shared two additional recipes that use these tomatoes – a delicious grits-and-goat-cheese combo and a roasted tomato vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Recipes created by T and Andy Price, Real Food Café
Pottery courtesy of Kent Harris, Blue Sage Pottery

Garlic Roasted Tomatoes
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut in half and de-seeded
6 to 8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees convection (if available). Place tomatoes, cut side up, on parchment-covered baking sheet; sprinkle generously with chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Roast until light brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Can refrigerate up to one week or cover in olive oil and refrigerate up to two weeks. Add to pasta salad, on grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, or toss them into your favorite sauce.

Note: De-seed tomatoes by gently loosening the seed sack with your fingers and giving the tomato half a quick shake into a bowl. Strained juice can be used in soup, sauce or bloody Mary mix! We love using Campari tomatoes, or a variety with similar shape and size, but any variety of tomato can be used.

Grits with Corn, Goat Cheese, & Garlic Roasted Tomatoes
Garlic roasted tomatoes
1 cup stone-ground grits
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups water
2 ears corn on the cob
1/4 cup (or more) goat cheese
½ teaspoon salt
Butter (optional)

Bring milk and water to a gentle boil in heavy sauce pan. Add grits and salt, reduce heat to medium low. Whisk occasionally at first, then whisk more frequently as grits begin to thicken, watching carefully to make sure bottom of pot does not scald. Cook until grits are thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Add more liquid if too thick, and continue cooking until desired consistency is reached. Stir in chunk of butter, if desired. Add more salt if needed. Cut corn from cob and sauté in hot cast iron pan with a little butter or olive oil to lightly brown. Top grits with corn, goat cheese and tomatoes.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

Garlic Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup olive oil
6 to 8 garlic roasted tomato halves

Combine vinegars, honey, seasoning, salt and pepper in food processor; with machine running, slowly pour in olive oil, then tomatoes. Process until desired consistency. Excellent on greens, grilled vegetables, chicken or fish.

Makes about 1 ½ cups

Meet the Cooks: Andy and T Price of Real Food Café

Amarilloans Andy and T Price first met more than 20 years ago when both were pursuing careers in local film production. She was a freelance make-up artist and he worked in lighting. “We were traveling a lot when I got pregnant with our daughter,” T explains. “We wanted to find a business that would keep us here locally.”

So in 1995, they opened a coffee business inside Northwest Texas Hospital, which eventually grew into their Coffee Cartel café. Desserts came next, and by the end of the last decade, you could enjoy their delightful pastries at restaurants like BL Bistro, Crush, and 575 Pizzeria. In 2009, they expanded to crepes, which they served inside Kitchen Gallery and then Blue Sage Art Gallery. Today, the Prices own Real Food Café, a popular lunch-only location opened on Sixth Street in 2012.

Their Real Food Café serves, in Andy’s words, “fresh, delicious food.” T expands on that simple description. “We don’t use conventional, pre-packaged ingredients but only high-quality, real food.” They make each of their mostly organic sauces, dressings, and desserts from scratch. “We’re self-taught home cooks,” T says. “We’ve always loved cooking together and trying new things together. We love what we do and we want to keep it fun and fresh.”

The Prices just overhauled the Real Food Café menu, simplifying choices to include only customer favorites. Each day, patrons can pick from among two salad entrees, a soup of the day, and three kinds of crepes: spinach and artichoke, bacon and tomato, and ham and gouda. “We narrowed it to the three most popular crepes, and those were the three that won,” T says. Another local favorite that made the new menu is a crispy chicken sandwich on homemade focaccia bread. “That one is just going crazy for us.”

This month, Andy and T share their beloved recipe for garlic roasted tomatoes, which find their way into a number of the café’s daily offerings. “We get asked a dozen times a week how we do our roasted tomatoes,” T says. “They’re served on our Bacon Tomato Crepe and on our BLT salad.” August is tomato season in the Panhandle, which means the Prices are always looking for ways to preserve that abundance. “You can use them right away as soon as you roast them,” T says of her tomatoes, “but you can also freeze them or preserve them in olive oil in the fridge.”

Andy and T find themselves repurposing the tomatoes themselves. “If we have them left over from the café, we’ll bring them home and eat them,” T says. “We’ll use them on grilled cheese sandwiches, we’ll put them in salads, we’ll throw them into our salsa. They’re very versatile.”

by Jason Boyett

Jason has written more than a dozen books and is the host and creator of “Hey Amarillo”, a local interview podcast. Visit and
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