Nothing Tastes more like SUMMER!
I love all of the fresh local produce available this time of year. Tomatoes are my favorite and I can’t seem to get enough of them. Beefsteak, Roma, Cherry, Grape, Heirloom, Plum, Pear…….and many new varieties every year…from my backyard, my neighbors’ yards, my CSA and farmers markets…..…I love them all…..in all colors, shapes and sizes. Nothing beats a summer ripened tomato for flavor.
Beautiful Assortment of tomatoes from the gardenTomatoes are known for their outstanding antioxidant content which is important for protecting bone health, fighting inflammation and protecting against cancer. A diet rich in tomatoes has incredible cardiovascular benefits by lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease. It’s well known that tomatoes are high in vitamin C, but they are also a good source of potassium, beta-carotene, manganese and Vitamin E. New research suggests that the phytochemical lycopene occurs at higher levels in cooked tomatoes than any other food. Lycopene reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension and diabetes. Tomatoes are also low in calories and high in fiber making them a great choice for those watching their weight.
I’ve experimented with different recipes to roast tomatoes and create sauce from them, and while many of them are delicious, I find myself doing this simple roast and sere more often than not because it’s extraordinarily tasty and requires minimal prep time. Hey, while summer is still here and there are many outdoor activities to enjoy I tend to spend less time in the kitchen.
This time of year, when tomatoes are so abundant I make these roasted tomatoes multiple times in a week. Sometimes I will use this “sauce” on top of zoodles, or to bake chicken or fish. I make shakshuka (a baked egg dish) with these roasted tomatoes as a base, and the kids love to use these tomatoes on top of toast and scooped up with chips…….but I find fresh roasted tomatoes so tasty that I most often just pick up a fork and dig right in.
If you’ve never tasted fresh roasted tomatoes before, this is the time to do it! There are still a few good weeks left to tomato season, what are you waiting for??
- 2 lbs tomatoes (small cherry or grape tomatoes will be sweetest)*
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper **
- Fresh Oregano: leaves from 5 sprigs
- Fresh Basil: 10 good sized leaves. Stack and thinly slice, or use scissors.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Prepare tomatoes: if they’re really small, you can leave them whole, otherwise cut grape or cherry tomatoes in half and any larger tomatoes into pieces that are about the same size.
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt, crushed pepper, herbs and toss well.
- Roast for 15 minutes. Toss and return pan to oven to continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes until tomatoes begin to brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Roasted tomatoes will keep well in the fridge for up to one week.