Considering the last few years' crop of pallid beefsteak tomatoes, its no wonder that many home cooks and restaurant chefs are using the egg-shaped Roma -- or plum -- variety as their everyday tomato. Romas are not only meatier than beefsteaks, but tastier, too. Synonymous with Ital fare, they can be used in almost any dish that requires tomatoes. And they're available ripe year-round.
This recipe for Roma Tomato and Zucchini Tian -- think of it as a Mediterranean-style eggless frittata -- works as either a light main course or as a side with grilled chicken or fish. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add a quartered, thinly sliced onion, 2 minced cloves garlic and a pinch each of dried sage, thyme and sea salt. Stir and let stew for about five minutes. Remove and spread the onion mixture evenly over the bottom of a small casserole, along with a grating of black pepper. Heat another 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet over medium-high, and sauté 1 pound of sliced zucchini with another pinch each sage, thyme and salt for about 10 minutes. Spread over the onions in the casserole along with 1/2 pound sliced Roma tomatoes and 4 pitted and quartered Kalamata olives. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350° F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes until the juices evaporate. Serve warm or at room temperature drizzled with lemon juice and a splash of red wine vinegar.