Sunday, August 29, 2010

slow-roasted cherry tomatoes with garlic

I have a confession. After I made these, I ate them all. And I'm not going to pretend that I used an eating utensil. It was one of those, pick-one-off-the-baking-sheet, then another, then another, until they're all gone phenomenon. I was so hasty to eat these lovelies that I didn't bother to snap a decent picture, and for that I apologize. To you, and the tomatoes.

I first experienced these tasty little nuggets a couple years ago, when my foodie friend Preston let me try just one of them in his kitchen (when you taste them, you'll understand why I can forgive him for being stingy with his cherry tomatoes.) The flavor of such a tiny tomato after roasting is completely unexpected. It's intense, sweet, amazing, amazing, tastes like a well-seasoned tomato sauce, oh my god. I think the fact that I still vividly remember this one bite in Preston's kitchen after two years is a testament to how good they are.

Since that fateful, tomato-y day, I hadn't been able to recreate these little miracles. But, when I was surfing the ever-mouth-watering Pinch My Salt this weekend, I decided to give slow-roasted cherry tomatoes a try again. So, I followed the directions, and voila! And boy, am I glad I tried them. And I suggest you try them too.

Oh, by the way, the soft, mellow, roasted garlic is the perfect friend to our little tomatoes. Check out sweet baby garlic clove front-and-center in that picture, oh baby.


1 basket cherry tomatoes
1/8 cup (or a good drizzle) olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried basil
a few cloves of unpeeled garlic
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 225. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, lengthwise, and put them on a baking sheet with the garlic. Coat the tomatoes (hands work best for this) with the olive oil and seasonings. Bake for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, or until the tomatoes are shriveled up but not crispy. The spices may get a little black, but that's natural, and it doesn't affect the taste.