Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Small But Mighty Cherry Tomato – August 10, 2013

We are eat up with cherry tomatoes.  We have six plants which have all been prolific, so I have had to be more thoughtful about using them than usual.  Most years, we have lots of cherry tomatoes in green salads or in adapted Caprese salads with basil and mozzarella.  When we can’t keep up, I then cut them in half and dry them in the oven or a dehydrator.  I keep these in a plastic bag in the fridge and toss in salads for much longer.  I suppose you could also use these to make tomato pesto or more exciting things.

But, now I have found a great way to use cherry tomatoes to make pasta sauce in no time and we have been enjoying it throughout the Summer.  It does involve heating up the oven in the Summer, but it is worth it.  If you don’t want to heat up your house, you can just cook the tomatoes in a heavy pot on the stove top, but it requires you to pay more attention and after trying both ways, I just thought the roasting brought out more of the sweetness of the tomatoes.  You can really play around with this recipe.  I use homemade carrot pesto, but you can use any pesto you like.  I like it best with the tablespoon of pesto so you really taste the tomatoes, but we tried it with the full cup of pesto and it was wonderful with scallops right off the grill.  You could add red pepper or other spices.  The most important factor in this recipe is really good olive oil.

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. fettuccine or linguine
1 T. to 1 cup pesto
Parmesan cheese to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss the cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper.  Place in a baking dish and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and add pesto before setting aside.  Cook the pasta as directed.  Add the roasted tomatoes and toss.  Top with Parmesan cheese.

I also found another great recipe in a magazine that is fabulous for using up things in the fridge or garden and that really highlights the beauty of the yellow pear-shaped cherry tomatoes.

Golden Corn Salad
8 oz. small yellow or red tomatoes, boiled 11 minutes and quartered
3-4 ears corn, boiled three minutes and kernels removed
2 c. pear-shaped yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1 chopped red bell pepper
¼ c. minced shallot
3 T. white Balsamic vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 T. olive oil
3-6 c. arugula or other salad greens
½ c. torn basil leaves
2 oz. goat cheese, sliced

Combine potatoes, corn, tomatoes and bell pepper.  Combine shallots and next 5 ingredients through the oil, whisking.  Drizzle over salad and Carefully toss in basil and greens.  Top with cheese and serve.

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