One of my mission statements in this #Cookin5m2 is to share easy recipes that almost anyone can do. Although I do some nice and fancy dishes, I like to present the simple stuff in a nice looking way adding some small touches and elements that transports the dish to a different level.
We have a small electric oven at the house, mom has brought this all the way from the UAE 19 years ago. It was buried under the clothes we put away for the opposite season in some corner at the house. Mom takes it out for Easter to bake Maamoul because it was more accurate than the old oven we had before then it goes back under the piles. A few years ago, I decided to unearth it, assign a place for it, and put it on a shelf for constant use. This device has been an excellent support in the kitchen for small scale cooking, reheating (we have no microwave), and grilling.
This device is a commercial brand, but it comes from a long time ago, back when machines where built to last. You’d buy a fridge, and it lasts for at least 15 years, like all the appliances we brought with us when we came to Lebanon from the UAE. The fridge, the washing machine, the kitchen oven and stovetop, the AC, even the TV and the stereo. We were still using a CRT TV even when everyone has moved to Plasma and LCD (part of it was because we couldn’t afford it) but had to fix it a few times. We still also use a National (that became Panasonic later) boombox that I used to make mixed tape on all the time, which is in the kitchen now and I play music on it by connecting my phone to it and rocking the kitchen!
Back to this oven. I use it for small roasting tasks or baking small cakes. Like in this recipe, I coated a vine of tomatoes that are in season in olive oil, salt, and pepper and popped them in this small oven until they were soft and fragrant. I used my small chopper to make a quick basil pesto to drizzle over the tomatoes and mozzarella, but you can pop a jar and spoon some over.
This is a very easy recipe but it packs good flavors from the roasted tomatoes and the pesto while the crazy mozzarella brings a nice texture to the dish. I made this when I didn’t really feel like cooking but needed to eat something not so regular