Everyday Vegetables: Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
A Tasty Way to Enjoy Tomatoes Year-Round
- Servings: 4.
We love our summer tomatoes but let's face it, their season is short and the rest of the year we're lucky if we can find tomatoes that have any taste or spark, no matter where they come from.
But what we can find are cherry tomatoes. In the past couple of years a new breed of little round tomatoes that are still on their vine started appearing in our produce stores and they're worth looking for. There's lots we can do with them but one of the best is to simply roast them until the skins wrinkle and the juice seeps out.
Their acidity makes them a great contrast to any fish or a meat that is sweet, like lamb or veal, and a perfect partner to beef. They can also be tossed with couscous or a grain like farro.
This dish is started on top of the stove and finished in the oven. If the oven is in use because you're making a roast at the same time, start the tomatoes on top of the stove and then add them to the oven right alongside the roast for the last 20 minutes of cooking.
If the oven is already set to 350° F to cook something else, this temperature will be fine for the tomatoes; if you're only roasting the tomatoes, set the oven to 375° F (the higher temperature will cause the skins to wrinkle a bit more while keeping the tomatoes intact and juicy).
Make an effort to find the round cherry tomatoes on the vine. Don't use the little sweet grape tomatoes because those won't give you the juice or the acid that makes this dish so winning. If you want to make a larger quantity, just multiply the ingredients but make sure the tomatoes are able to sit in a single layer in your roasting pan.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2-3 shallots, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt (a pinch)
- Optional ingredients: add a teaspoon of thyme flakes or a tablespoon of sherry vinegar (or both); if you do, add to the tomatoes before going into the oven
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Preheat a large oven-proof fry pan or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and shallot. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes until the garlic and shallots soften.
- Add the tomatoes and toss to coat. Add a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes.
- Place the pan in the oven and roast for 18 to 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are wrinkled and beginning to throw off juice. Halfway through cooking, give the pan a shake so that the tomatoes move around to cook evenly.
These are delicious served either hot or at room temperature.