April 7th, 2009

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (Italian Tuna, White Bean, and Roasted Tomato Salad)

roasted-cherry-tomatoes

One of my favorite things to have on hand are roasted cherry tomatoes. Sometimes I roast two pints on Sunday and keep them on hand for a last minute meal. But they are easy enough to roast the night of. In the 45 minutes that it takes for them to crackle and pop, you can easily boil pasta or saute veggies or chicken cutlets. By the time the tomatoes are done, it’s a simple matter of tossing dinner together… literally.

The easiest way to roast tomatoes is with olive oil and salt. That’s it. They come out sweet and gorgeous, cracked and slightly browned. If you want to get fancy, you can throw in a few garlic cloves, some pancetta or prosciutto, herbs, honey for extra sweetness, and/or balsamic vinegar for a little tang. And the oil that the tomatoes roast in gets nicely flavored–perfect to use in your final dish.

No matter how you make these, roasted cherry tomatoes can easily take center stage of any dish. Just keep it simple. Toss with garlic, pasta, and basil or your favorite dark, leafy greens. Add salmon, cod fillets, or chicken breasts to the tomatoes halfway through cooking, finish roasting, and finish with black olives. Top polenta with roasted tomatoes and grated parmesan. Toss with spaghetti squash, herbs, and top with a dollop of ricotta.

Last night, with a seriously bare fridge (except for two pints of cherry tomatoes from a pasta dish that never happened), I hit the cupboard. Some oil-packed tuna, white beans, and red onion came together with roasted tomatoes for a Tuscan style salad, perfect with the loaf of bread I bought on the way home from work.

Roasted Cherry (or Grape) Tomatoes
(can be served to kids 10+ mos)

2 pints organic cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp organic olive oil
OR
1/3 cup organic olive oil, if you plan on using the oil in your final dish
salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In the meantime, clean and dry tomatoes. Place in an oven safe dish with oil and sprinkle with salt (just a little if serving to beginner eaters, a healthy amount for extra flavor if serving to older kids and adults).

2. Roast for 45 minutes. Serve plain, with crusty bread, or toss in another dish. If storing, pack tomatoes in a container with the cooking oil. Cover with an airtight lid and store in fridge for up to 5 days.

italian-tuna-white-bean-rst-tomato-salad1

Italian Tuna, White Bean, and Roasted Tomato Salad
(can be adapted for kids 10+ mos)

1 jar (about 7 oz) italian tuna packed in oil, drained (skip the tuna to make a vegetarian version)
1 can organic white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 an organic red onion, thinly sliced (skip the onions or just leave out of the kid portions–I think they are an important element for the adults)
1 pint organic cherry tomatoes, roasted (you don’t need the cooking oil)
2 tbsp organic olive oil
3 tbsp organic red wine vinegar
salt & pepper

1. Flake tuna. Toss with white beans, red onion, roasted tomatoes, olive oil, and vinegar.

2. Add salt and pepper to older kid and adult portions. Serve plain or with crusty bread (makes a great bruschetta topping).

11 Responses

  1. Rosie says:

    These are even better with in-season summer tomatoes: plum or cherry/grape varieties.

  2. kathryn says:

    i made these cherry tomatoes tonight – so simple, so good. thank you for the yummy recipe :-)

  3. [...] roasted in the oven (drizzle with olive oil, roast at 400 degrees until cooked through) topped with roasted cherry tomatoes (remove cooked chorizo from the roasting pan, dump two pints of tomatoes in the leftover [...]

  4. Shannon says:

    I made the tomatoes one night to have on hand, as you suggested. Then, last night, I made this meal with stuff that I had in the pantry. I tell you, it was absolutely delicious. It looks too simple to be as tasty as it was. But, my husband and I devoured the whole lot of it ourselves. This is one of those recipes that I’ll throw together time and time again. Next week I’ll try the pasta with roasted tomatoes, sausage, and ricotta.

    Thanks for the great recipes. Your new site is lovely. I love the recipe box feature! And three cheers for recipe printing!

  5. One Hungry Mama says:

    I’m so glad that you commented, Shannon. I know. It’s amazing, right?! RIDONCULOUSLY good. That’s why I keep them in the fridge—they make the kind of meal that you’d never guess was throw together in an instant. On pasta, an omelette, over quick sauteed chicken or lamb chops… the possibilities are endless. Oh, and thanks for the compliments on the new site. Glad you like!

  6. [...] it through: in the time that it takes me to boil ravioli, I could boil pasta. I was going to roast cherry tomatoes anyway, so I’d have those. And in the time that the tomatoes are roasting and pasta cooking, [...]

  7. [...] no secret that I love roasted cherry tomatoes. I toss them with italian tuna, white beans and red onion, use them in all kinds of pasta dishes [...]

  8. [...] Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce: I love this tossed with pasta plain or mixed with ricotta (and even sausage [...]

  9. Angie says:

    I love doing this but hate the tomato skins. I’ve started blanching them and peeling them before roasting. My husband helps and it’s super easy. Just poke a small hole in the skin, drop in boiling water for about 30 seconds, remove with a strainer and drop in ice water. The pulp pops out of the skin whole and then we roast them in olive oil and garlic. You still get the fabulous sauce without the tough skins.

  10. One Hungry Mama says:

    great idea, angie. I don’t mind the skins, but many people–especially little ones–do. and it’s certainly more refined your way! thanks!

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