My garden is full-to-the -brim with cherry tomatoes.
Everyday we are picking a bowl full. Mr. Wonderful loves to just pick them and pop them into his mouth like candy. But there’s only so much of that you can do.
What to do when you’re overloaded with cherry tomatoes? Roast them!
Take a baking dish that will hold your desired amount and pour the tomatoes in. Drizzle olive oil over top (about 1/4 cup).
Take a clean can (of anything)…and wipe the bottom of the can off really good. It’s going to used as a tool of aggression.
Take a head of garlic.
I used to be garlic-ignorant so let me help anyone who doesn’t know the difference between a head (or bulb) or clove of garlic. The head ,or bulb is the entire thing, while the cloves are the individual pieces you can break off of the garlic bulb.
So, pull the cloves apart.
Start smashin em with your can.
Go ahead and be aggressive I tell ya. It’s the proper thing to do. Bad hair day from 8 straight days of rain? SMASH! Someone cut you off in traffic? SMASH, SMASH! Frustrating day at work? SMASHHHHHHHHHHH!
Okay, stop! We don’t want minced garlic…sorry.. I got carried away.
Apparently, I have some aggression to get rid of?
You want your garlic to open up to release its flavors so really whomping them hard is okay.
After you smash them, the peel should just slip right off the garlic clove.
Please note my manicured fingernail. That hasn’t happened in a long time. It’s amazing how painted nails can make you feel prettier.
You can smash the cloves again after they’re peeled to really open them up.
See the juices on the cutting board? That’s garlic juice and we want that to be oozing out into our olive oil. Distribute your garlic around your tomatoes in the pan.
Sprinkle on some salt – about a tablepoon. I’ve found tomatoes require a lot of salt.
And some pepper – about 1 teaspoon.
You can use a spoon here or just dig right in with your bare (clean) hands. Mix everything around really, really good!
Or is it well? I can never figure out grammar…
Once all the tomatoes and garlic are well-coated with oil, salt and pepper, wash your now-greasy hands and pop the pan into a low oven of 300º. I started by putting the pan on a center rack in my oven.
Set your timer for one hour. (Hey, Mom, look how clean my oven is!)
Here is the other end of my timer that I got 20 years ago.
I work in the technology field, and still don’t know how to set this thing, and why would I want to when I can just spin a dial? The electronic side makes me want to get out my can again and smash garlic.
Walk away and leave your tomatoes be for the full hour.
After an hour, this is what they look like.
See how many of them are starting to crinkle and burst open as they carmelize? That means major flavor, and flavor is our friend.
Move your pan up to the top rack and continue to roast for at least another half-hour. Mr. Wonderful was starving at this point, so we took ours out and this is what they looked like after an hour-and-a-half.
The roasting intensifies the already-sweet flavor of these little babies. They also take on the flavor of the garlic infused oil.
Now at this point, you could whir the entire contents of the pan, garlic, tomatoes and oil in your food processor or blender to make an amazing pasta sauce. Add a few herbs in and it’d be incredible.
Let me show you what we did.
We mixed some pesto with some spinach tortellini, topped it with a grilled chicken breast, and spooned some of our newly roasted cherry tomatoes over top.
And here’s the beauty of the this process.
Put your leftover tomatoes in storage containers that can go in the freezer. Pour the garlic oil over top.
These will keep in your freezer and you can pull them out when summer is long-gone for a little bit of heaven.
I think with my next batch, I may try slicing them in half and really letting the cut edges carmelize face-down in the pan. I think that would amazing and also adding some sliced onions as well, then pouring the entire pan over pasta for an incredible side dish some night. These would also be great spooned over toasted crostini slices. Yummm.
I hope you try these at home sometime. They’re just plain ol’ fabulous.
Have a comment or question? Please leave one below! I’d love to hear from you!
- ¼ c. olive oil
- 4 c. cherry tomatoes
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
- 1 T. salt
- 1 t. pepper
- Preheat oven to 300º. Lay tomatoes onto foil lined cookie sheet or 9 X 13 pan. Peel garlic and smash heads slightly. Scatter garlic round tomatoes. Drizzle both with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix with hands or large spoon to make sure all tomatoes are coated. Roast for one hour. Move oven rack (and pan) to top most position and roast an additional 30 minutes to one hour. Top chicken or pasta dishes with these. Delicious!
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