And now I have them.
After giving scads away, freezing a good many others, making tomato sauce and salsa and curried ketchup with still others, I eyed my heavy-vined, organic cherry tomato plants with a sigh. What in the world will I do with all these? I wondered. I can only eat so many in salads. So this week has become a quest: find three delicious things to do with cherry tomatoes. Stat.
I spent a good deal of time on Google the other night. Gardeners and foodies alike had a hundred suggestions: Roast them! Chop and freeze them! Stuff them! Peel them! Blanch them! Grill them! There are thousands of methods for dealing with these abundant beauties. Fortunately for me, I only needed three. So. Method number one? Slice off their little tops and stuff them with pesto or squares of mozzarella for appetizers or snacks. Done.
Method number two? Cook them to death.
And finally, method number three: roast them.
Here's how: line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Slice tomatoes in half, scooping out seeds, and place cut-side up on pan. (Or leave them whole, as I did here. They'll burst easily and quickly in the oven.) Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh rosemary. (I added basil and 2 garlic cloves, as well.) Bake at 225 F for.. um... ever. About six to seven hours or until caramelized and dehydrated-looking.
Now what, you ask, do you do with a cherry tomato once it's roasted? Glad you asked. Keep them in a covered container to toss into omelets, bread dough, couscous, pasta, tacos, and salads. Mix them up with fresh cheese (stilton, mozzarella, etc.) and basil for a cool summery dish. Use them for toppings on bruschetta or pizza. Or whip this up: Epicurious' Penne with Chicken and Roasted Tomatoes. Yum.
Or, do as I did and float them in olive oil and herbs in pretty jars, stash in the refrigerator, and wait until further inspirations/cravings strike.
Gardening is a joy. Hauling in gallons of homegrown, organic, drop-of-sun cherry tomatoes is too. But next year, I'm planting ONE cherry tomato plant. Maybe even a yellow one. Remind me of this in February when the White Flower Farm catalogue arrives. (Cough) Please remind me. -Brin
(In case anyone should wonder, here's the Curried Ketchup recipe, courtesy of Food Network: 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, pinch ground cloves. Directions: Put the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, curry powder, salt, pepper and cloves into a saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, stir to dissolve the sugar and cook until the tomatoes have broken down and the mixture is slightly thick, about 10 minutes. Pour the mix into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Yield: 1 cup.)