roasted cherry tomato

16th June 2009

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After last season’s disastrous tomato crop, this year I went overboard with my seed plantings.  And, of course, they all thrived, so I now have enormous crops of cherry and Roma cherry tomatoes. I have been going out each morning, patiently watching the bunches turn from apple-green, orange and finally to that deep, dark red that lets us all know there is true flavour inside. Thankfully the little treasures have not all chosen to ripen at once, so I have been able to pluck off the odd handful.

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Today’s picking was impressive, so after passing off some to my in-laws, a bunch was the highlight of this dish.  Roasted cherry tomatoes, zucchini, chiogga beetroot, fennel, sweet potato, roasted with fresh garden herbs and fetta, finished off with a basil and pine nut dressing. Pumpkin would have been better instead of the sweet potato, but I used mostly what came from the garden, with exception of sweet potato. Roasting the tomatoes brings out a stronger, intense flavour, and being so small they don’t smother the other vegetables.

roasted cherry tomatoes & vegetable assortment with a basil & pine nut dressing

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The amounts I have approximated, as I usually just throw in a handful/pinch/dash, so it is never quite the same each time. I always use a good extra virgin cold pressed olive oil for my roasting and dressings. For this recipe, I used 1 zucchini, 1 sm. sweet potato, ¼ beetroot, ¼ fennel bulb – enough for 1 – 2.

ingredients :

Approx. 12 whole cherry tomatoes

Assorted vegetables, in chunks (zucchini, pumpkin, fennel, beetroot, sweet potato, whatever on hand)

Handful of whole fresh herbs (I used 5 sage leaves, 3 sprigs thyme and 2 sprigs rosemary)

generous splash of olive oil

Maldon or similar sea salt

100g feta, cubed

preparation :

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Toss all vegetables in one layer in an ovenproof dish with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and add herbs.  Bake for 30 – 40 min., stirring occasionally. Halfway through, add feta. Cooked when veggies are tender and tomatoes are flattened.  If the bottom of dish begins to char, that’s fine. Serve with 2 – 3 tsp. of dressing drizzled over.  Sprinkle extra torn/whole basil leaves.

basil & pine nut dressing

Toast approx. 2 tsp pine nuts in small pan.  Smash lightly in mortar and pestle with 5 torn basil leaves.  Whisk in 1 tab. extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp honey(mixed with a little hot water ).  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Shared goodness from Donna

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