Bright red tomatoes are a staple in the summer months in my house. Caprese salads, stuffed tomatoes, and BLTs abound in the warmer months. But when winter comes and all I can find are anemic, mealy and mushy full-sized tomatoes, I have to up my tomato game to still enjoy them.
Cherry tomatoes are the saving grace of the winter. They often still retain a lot of the color and texture that tomato-lovers adore, just in a smaller format. Roasting them elevates their flavor and brings out the earthiness that makes them feel like a hearty winter side dish while they are still a light side option.
- 12 ounce container of cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- Sprinkle of salt (coarse kosher salt or sea salt preferred)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together basil and olive oil.
- Coat tomatoes.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until tomatoes pop open.
- Avoid moving tomatoes too much during cooking time. Turn no more than once to develop some char and avoid smashing them as they become more tender.
- Drain excess olive oil into a bowl and mop up during the meal with crusty bread, or after removing tomatoes, press baguette slices into olive oil on pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast bread for a few minutes for crostini to accompany dinner.
- A cookie sheet could be used for cooking, but to minimize the likelihood of spilling excess juices and oil in the oven, a pan or casserole dish is recommended.