Sweet Million, Sungold, Black Cherry… All it takes is a few cherry tomato plants and you will mostly likely be overwhelmed with cherry tomatoes. No matter how wonderful it is to munch your way through the garden, how many can you really eat at one time?
There’s that time, early in the growing season when I’m feeling impatient and yearning for a ripe tomato. Too soon for most of the heirlooms to come in, I know I can at least count on having cherry tomatoes to eat. But, that was then and this is now. We’re at the height of the season and the kitchen counter is completely covered in big, meaty tomatoes. I sell them, I give them away, I freeze and I can them. I can’t make salsas, sauces and salads fast enough. And, that doesn’t even begin to take into account the cherries…
So, today I’ve decided to focus on how to use up a bowl or two of today’s cherry tomato harvest. Roasting cherry tomatoes in a really low oven is one of the easiest ways to use them up and the result is an incredibly tasty and versatile addition to almost any recipe. Roasting them today will make you really happy in the winter when you’re craving a hearty tomato sauce. Here’s how to roast cherry tomatoes (or plum tomatoes) to use immediately in a multitude of recipes or to save for a later date. Note that I haven’t specified any quantities. That’s because you can adapt this recipe for any quantity of tomatoes. As a starting point I can tell you that for 4 cups of tomatoes I used ¼ cup olive oil and 2 teaspoons of chopped thyme.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Cherry, grape or small Roma tomatoes
cloves of garlic, unpeeled
extra virgin olive oil
chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 225°F. Cut each cherry tomato in half crosswise or plum tomato lengthwise. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the unpeeled cloves of garlic around the tomatoes. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle with thyme and pinch of salt and pepper.
Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. The tomatoes will shrivel and dry out a bit, but some juice will remain..
Use the roasted tomatoes immediately or let them cool to use later. If storing them in the refrigerator, cover them with some extra olive oil. Your oven roasted tomatoes can also be frozen in airtight containers.
Now, here’s another recipe for a cherry tomato dish that I know you’ll love. I made this one for dinner last night and it was really tasty. I put the leftovers in the refrigerator over night and it’s even better. There’s not a bite left.
Herbed Cherry Tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
4 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan large enough to hold all the tomatoes in one layer. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over a medium heat for just a minute. You don’t want the garlic to brown but to soften slightly.
Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to pop. Remove the pan from the heat when several of the tomatoes have popped and serve hot or at room temperature.