Hot Tomatoes

It’s tomato season and this year the tomatoes I’ve gotten from my CSA had been sweet and delicious. I used to use cherry tomatoes mostly in salads, but this year I’ve discovered that cooking them ever so slightly really brings out their sweetness. There are several good ways of cooking cherry tomatoes, the easiest being to sauté them in a hot pan with a little olive oil. But you can also roast them in the oven or put them on a pan on the grill. The key is not to overcook them. You can either cook them just until the skins start to pop or cut them in half and cook them. Instead of using raw tomatoes on bruschetta, try using roasted tomatoes. They are also great tossed lightly with pasta. Most recently I made a cherry tomato pizza with artichoke hearts. I cut them in half and they roasted right on the crust. Similarly, I love the idea of this recipe for cherry tomato tart with artichokes on puff pastry from Gourmet. It’s the epitome of quick and easy summer cooking. In the summer cherry tomatoes don’t need much embellishment, but if for some reason your cherry tomatoes aren’t as sweet as you’d like, give them a little boost by roasting them with balsamic vinegar. Once you start cooking cherry tomatoes, you may never want to eat them raw again! Here’s my basic recipe, feel free to add garlic, onions or herbs as you see fit. Lining the pan with foil or parchment makes clean up a breeze and if you eat them straight out of the pan, I won’t tell. Roasted cherry tomatoes 1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed and stems removed. 1 Tablespoon olive oil Pinch of salt Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes on a folk-lined or parchment-lined sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and roast for 10 minutes or until the skins begin to pop. Let cool and serve.

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