Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

 

I will be picking up my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share of the year tomorrow.  I’m both excited and apprehensive about this.  As you know, it’s a commitment to cook and eat whatever is harvested each week and I don’t want to waste any of it.

The arrival of our first basket from the farm means spring is really here.  Days are becoming more and more filled with light.  Tiny leaves on the tree outside my kitchen window are beginning to unfurl.  I’m hearing birds sing at 5 am and I’m remembering how good spring feels on my body and how it makes me feel so very reassured that nature is paying attention.

These past few days I’ve been lingering over recipes that make the most of the early crops — tender lettuces, blushing stalks of rhubarb and rambunctious ramps.  I know you are too!  Salads tossed with olive oil, wine vinegar and lemon juice (maybe a spoonful of Dijon mustard), pesto, and rhubarb freezer jam is all I’m really after.  No fuss.  We must make quick work of these fleeting vegetables!

But before we begin celebrating everything green, I really want to share how easy it is to roast cherry tomatoes and how this method satisfied my craving for a taste of warm weather in the waning days of winter.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, rinsed, dried with a clean towel
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • a head of garlic (optional), cloves separated, their papery peels left on

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Place tomatoes and garlic cloves, if using, onto a sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast until tomatoes are blistered and beginning to burst, about 20-25 minutes.

After the tomatoes are done, turn off the oven, but use the leftover heat to toast a few slices of baguette — lay them directly onto the oven grates.  Remove from the oven when they are a color you want to eat.

Smash a fresh garlic clove, rub it all over the top-sides of the hot toast.  Brush with olive oil, add the tomatoes, squeeze the roasted garlic onto the toast, releasing their sweetness from the peels.  Dollop a bit of ricotta cheese. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and perhaps a slight splash of balsamic vinegar.

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