Friday, September 16, 2016

Melted Tiny Tomatoes

Melted tiny tomatoes - cherry and grape tomatoes, roasted with olive oil and a few seasonings, pictured here smeared on toasted bread, though they also serve as an excellent base when pureed for sauces, tossed with pasta, as a pizza topper or added to sandwiches and salads.

Melted Tiny Tomatoes

It's still hotter than hot down here in the Deep South, and I am already missing summer vegetables. Locally grown summer vegetables are pretty much out the door around here. Thankfully, veggies from other sources, in and outside of the country, can always be found thanks to free trade and all that, so that's some solace... I suppose. Truth is, I'm already starting to have cravings for the foods of fall anyway.

As I write this, I'm preparing our supper, so I've got fried cabbage going, and we'll {meaning I'll since The Cajun won't touch it} have that along with some leftover meatloaf, parslied potatoes - simply chunks of potato, boiled in my fasta pasta (love that!) {affil link} and then tossed with salt, pepper, butter and parsley {because we already ate all of the leftover mashed potatoes}, and green beans. Even though the "feels like" high temperature was 102 today, my mind is already on such comfort foods, and things like chili,  soups and stews, chicken and dumplingshomemade yeast breads and apple recipes!

Well, despite the fact that summer tomatoes are all but gone, cherry and grape tomatoes are one of those things that are found year round thankfully, and I pretty much keep a clamshell of them on the counter 24/7. I like to snack on them more than anything, but I'll throw a few in a salad, or to finish a sauce made from canned tomatoes, all fall and winter long!

The ones that I used here were the last of my backyard trailing tomatoes. I had three plants, in hanging planters, and of those, the Red Profusion was the most generous.

The other two, Peardrops and Tumbling Tiger, provided some, but not nearly as many. I will probably plant them again next year, though likely in containers, rather than in hanging baskets, as south Mississippi heat made it near impossible to keep them properly hydrated once summer set in. They've sadly hit the compost now, though the cherry tomatoes I planted mid-summer inside in the Aerogarden {affil link} are still putting out a few here and there. I've used a combination of them all here.

The last of the patio tomatoes. :( 
I love roasting tomatoes, and especially those less than stellar, end of summer ones, because you can literally transform them with a simple, slow roasting process. The act of roasting intensifies the natural sugars and brings out an amazing flavor that makes them a beautiful enhancement for any sauce. I've got some that I've roasted and put up in the freezer and will gladly welcome them in the midst of winter! The same thing happens with these tiny tomatoes, using a higher temperature and shorter time.

A simple recipe, that has taken on a trendy moniker of "melted" tomatoes of late, since the texture makes these super creamy and well, melty. I prepared this base recipe using a specific set of seasonings because I wanted to add them to a pasta recipe that I made, but melted tomatoes are just as good tossed with some herbs, and simply smashed and spread on crusty bread. A little pop of summer, no matter the season. Here's how to make them.

I used these to make this Aglio e Olio - Spaghetti with Olive Oil and Garlic, which stands well all on it's own, but was especially delicious with these Melted Tiny Tomatoes.

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Recipe: Melted {Roasted} Tiny Tomatoes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 2 cups

  • 4 cups assorted cherry and/or grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs (rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley, mixed Italian, herbes de provence or combination)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place tomatoes in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss. Sprinkle with seasonings and herbs; toss. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until skins begin to wrinkle, stirring gently halfway. Let cool. Squeeze tomatoes from skins and use whole or puree to use in sauces, serve spread on toasted bread, or toss with cooked pasta. Actual time will depend on size of tomatoes.


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Posted by on January 1, 2016
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