Slow-Roasted Tomatoes(Grape or Cherry).... with Garlic and Mint.
Some time ago, I was sitting in a waiting room... ready to be called for an eye exam. As usual, I look for cooking magazines that I can occupy myself with for the moment. Not all waiting rooms have cooking magazines, but this one did:). The very top magazine happened to be a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. I picked it up and started leafing through it and came across a rather simple but enticing recipe. I quickly scanned over the ingredients and found the recipe to be quite easy to do. Cherry tomatoes slow roasted in olive oil, mint, and garlic. It sounded really delicious to me and the photo was what really won me over. It was full of color and so rustic-looking. The tomatoes were simply served on a slice of toasted bread with a bit of soft goat cheese. Simply served... yet, it stood out. And, before I knew it, I was called for my eye exam. I kept thinking about the recipe. A few days later, I tried it and loved it....
I am not exactly sure if I remembered every detail of the recipe, so this is my adaptation. Also, because I was so eager to try the recipe, I ended up using what I had at home...grape tomatoes, boursin cheese, and some whole grain bagels I had in the freezer. Of course, you can definitely use a nice baguette, ciabatta, etc.... and regular goat cheese. I also think the slow-roasted tomatoes would work just as well on some pasta, as a topping for chicken or fish, a simple side dish... or even on top of a pizza. After the tomatoes are baked, you will notice that some tomato juice is released. The tomato juice combines with the olive oil, making for a wonderful dipping sauce. The tomatoes become soft, so they can easily be smashed with a fork if desired....you'll get a sauce-like consistency.
Slow roasting the tomatoes also brings out the natural sweetness of the tomato.... You can opt for leaving out the balsamic vinegar, but a drizzle works wonders. A different way of using up some cherry or grape tomatoes... without too much work involved. I would definitely prefer using tomatoes from my own garden or a farmer's market...the flavor would be so, so much better.... but store-bought worked fine.
This dish actually reminded me a bit of the garlic and butter roasted mushrooms I posted some time ago...so in case you do not like mushrooms, this might be another option. Feel free to exchange the mint for some basil or even parsley/cilantro. Hope you enjoy....
You will need: inspired by a Better Homes and Gardens magazine
8 oz grape or cherry tomatoes
3 large garlic cloves, sliced
olive oil( I used extra-virgin olive oil)
fresh mint/basil/parsley, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
drizzle of balsamic vinegar(optional...I enjoyed it with and without)
1. In a shallow baking dish, add tomatoes, sliced garlic and enough olive oil to come up at least 1/8th from the bottom of the dish. Add fresh herbs...I used some dried mint from my summer garden.
2. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat...placing most of the garlic on the bottom.
3. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 45-50 minutes. I baked mine in the toaster oven and didn't bother to stir the tomatoes...except once after about 10 minutes( to sort of make sure the garlic doesn't burn).
4. Before serving, drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar for additional depth of flavor (optional).
5. Serve as a topping over toasted bread with goat cheese...or spoon some of it over chicken or fish. Or even simply tossed with some linguine.