I’m having a new love affair – unfortunately or fortunately it’s with roasted tomatoes. I read about them in a memoir I was reading and they sounded good and I have an overabundance of tomatoes in my garden this year; some I planted, some just grew (credit the squirrels for those). I have this problem, once a plant starts growing I will not pull it out, which is why some years I have pumpkins growing in my front yard.
I planted romas, a beefsteak variety, and these little orange grape tomatoes (I’ll look for the seed packet and get you the name) purposely. They all flourished – It was a good year for tomatoes in my garden this year. What I didn’t plant this year were giant cherry tomatoes. They sprouted up in flower beds, cement cracks and the planter attached to my pools waterfall. So when I read about the idea of roasting them, I thought I would give it a try.
I picked a basket of assorted grape and cherry tomatoes, red and orange varieties. I pre-heated the oven to 400, washed the tomatoes and put them into a shallow baking sheet. I drizzled a good olive oil all over them and tossed them with my hands, and then I sprinkled them with some sea salt and pepper. I added a few basil leaves and put them in the oven. After about a half an hour I gave them a little toss and then let them go for about another 30 minutes until they were puckered, collapsed and my kitchen smelled like a Tuscan bistro.
I let them cool a bit and then it was love at first bite. My taste buds and my mind were reeling. The more I tasted the more ways I thought of using these simple little morsels. Here is what I’ve come up with so far, and I’ve only just begun.
- A nice addition to an antipasti platter – add some Italian cheese, some olives and bread.
- A roasted tomato Risotto – I added them to the browning Arborio and proceeded.
- An easy lunch (or anytime) salad – a handful of arugula, a hearty scattering of roasted tomatoes, some feta cheese and a drizzle of the “juice” that the tomatoes give off (Oh, that reminds me, the tomatoes give off a nice little sauce, don’t throw it away, it’s yummykins!
- A lovely lite pasta sauce – boil your favorite pasta, penne is nice, toss with the tomatoes and their juice, add some basil and grated cheese (I like pecorino romano), and top off with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil (I’ve been experimenting with flavored olive oils and used a garlic infused oil).
…And I’ve only just begun!
I also froze a good amount of these. I packed them in freezer containers, labeled them and look forward to having them in the dark days of winter.
The second day I made them (I’ve been making them every day that’s how many tomatoes I have!), my air-conditioned broke, so I turned on my gas grill put it on low until the thermometer read 400 and roasted them there.
NOTE: If you would like more detailed recipes for any of the above let me know and I will post them.