Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What to do with your tomatoes, or why I plant cherry tomatoes

Pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh basil is one of my absolute favorite dishes to make and eat and I only prepare it in the summer. It takes so many tomatoes that I only make it once or twice a season, but I am not completely kidding when I say it is the reason I plant tomatoes at all. This dish comes from Seriously Simple by Diane Rossen Worthington which is one of my favorite cookbooks. I will admit there are a few recipes that have not turned out - and I don't think it was me - but overall I have probably cooked more from this than any other book I own. Simple, tasty food made with uncomplicated ingredients - I love that.

Cut cherry, grape, or pear tomatoes in half and place in baking dish. The yellow pear ones have not been my favorite to eat out of hand, but turned out really well in this dish. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 pounds, but like everything else I don't bother with measurements.

Top with bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over this.

While we're waiting for that to roast at 400F for 30-35 minutes, here is a look at my favorite cooking tools. My microplane grater, chef's knife, and Rosle garlic press are used almost daily.

When the mixture is bubbling, brown and slightly thickened, remove from oven and feel free to have a taste, as I did.

Combine with pasta and fresh basil. I like to use a pasta shape for this, preferably cavatappi. I love how the tomatoes cling to its curves.



Cath said...

Wow, that looks good enough to eat. :-)

It's Jamie Oliver's show on TV tonight and he's doing courgette (zuccinni to you - sorry, I never know how many 'Cs' and 'Ns' that word needs) recipes. I'm hoping for some ideas...

Nan said...

Oh, my gosh that looks so good. I'd leave out the cheese for my part. I envy your tomatoes. Mine are just beginning to ripen. My cherries are bigger and slower this year. I'll remember this recipe when I get enough.

Gentle Reader said...

That looks fabulous! And I happen to have an overabundance of cherry tomatoes this season, so I'm going to try to make it! Thanks!

nutmeg said...

That's a keeper that recipe - I'm printing it off as I write!

I have read that the cherry type tomtoes are a good choice for the home gardener trying to avoid pesticides etc as they are not as likely to be attacked by insects, fungus, etc. I have only grown the small red ones - Tom Thumb; but would like to try and grow the yellow pear shaped ones as well.

And I enjoyed reading your thoughts on why you blog (in a previous post).

Tara said...

Hi Cath, let me know if you get any brilliant new ideas for zucchini - I could use some!

Nan, I hope yours ripen soon! Mine are already starting to dwindle and I'm hoping to make this dish again.

Gentle reader, I hope you like it!

Nutmeg, I have never read that, about cherry tomatoes, but that has certainly been my experience. I don't add anything except water. I have had trouble with larger tomatoes in the past and decided this year not to bother.

Carrie K said...

Oh, yum! I usually take the tomatos, peppers and basil from the garden and either make them into a salad (with french bread) (what's that called?) or toss 'em with pasta. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Bookfool said...

Wow, I'm ready to eat the computer screen.

We had cherry tomatoes growing out from under the foundation when we moved into our house. It was so bizarre; but, I think the deal is that the previous owners added a bit to the driveway and there was a garden there, prior to the pouring of the slab. Still, it was really odd! I'm going to try cherry tomatoes, next year. Our tomatoes were a total bomb, this time around.

Jodie Robson said...

Those tomatoes look wonderful...mine (in the North of England) haven't even started to ripen yet, but I shall cook it as soon as they are ready.

I was reading some of your older posts, having just found your blog, and I wondered if you had enjoyed Christian Miller's A Childhood in Scotland? I loved it, and enjoyed comparing it to the descriptions of a Highland childhood in Elizabeth Grant's Memoirs of a Highland Lady.

Tara said...

Carrie - the salad? Is that Panzanella? Yum, I should make that, thanks for thee idea!

Bookfool, funny how tomato plants persevere, I had some a few years ago that kept coming up though we hadn't planted anything new.

Geraniumcat, hello! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. I see that one of your favorite films is Room With a View which has been a favorite of mine since I was an adolescent. I remember we had it on video and my younger sister would watch the same part over and over (you know the one!) when my Mother was at work...

I'm sorry to report I haven't read A Childhood in Scotland yet, it is on my stack. I think I will enjoy it, and the one you've mentioned sounds interesting as well and I'm off to look into it.

Lotus Reads said...

Mon Dieu, this looks absolutely scrumptious, Tara! You really make me want to grow my own tomatoes...I really must plan for it in the coming spring. I'll give anything for a taste of that salad, it looks soooooo good!

Brin said...

Hi there! I, too, am a cherry tomato lover and grower. A reader on my blog directed us to this recipe in particular and am I ever glad she did! I'll be trying this soon, and I can already tell it will be adored.

Thanks for recipe hook up!