Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Poppers

With the summer bounty in full swing, one of the greatest pleasures is watching the green tomatoes turn red. We’ve had a garden for four of the five years we’ve lived here, and each of the last three years our tomatoes have taken a hit. First it was early blight, then it was late blight, then it was the darn hornworms. This year, oh you bet not. The blight has all but *cross our fingers* been taken care of through careful cultivation, rotation crops and planting. The hornworms on the other hand met thuricide this year, also known as BT spray. For those concerned: It’s commonly used in organic gardening, it’s sprayed in the evening when only hornworms are active and it’s precisely sprayed on just the tomatoes. As well, thuricide deteriorates when exposed to sunshine so by the time it gets into our house we’re all set!

This year we’re growing quite a few different kinds of tomatoes including early girls, beefsteak, romas and cherry. The cherry’s are the star of this post.

Unfortunately as ripe as our tomatoes are quickly getting, they aren’t quite ready enough to make these poppers yet. So for this particular post I’ve used some organic store bought tomatoes we were given.  I also used these because most people don’t have tons of fresh cherry tomatoes laying around. You can easily make these with those from the grocery store, just as these are. They are exceptionally delicious and snack worthy anyway you make them. In one or two weeks these will be made with our fresh tomatoes—if they can make it out of the garden before I eat them all.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Poppers

Step One. Turn your oven on 425. Yes, this is extremely high. We want to roast these fast so they brown up but still retain some “pop” to them. A lower temperature would cook them through before the outside got a yummy enough (technical term).

Step Two. Toss your tomatoes in olive oil, and then place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Step Three. Sprinkle salt generously, and some pepper, onto the tomatoes. Gently shake the cookie sheet so the tomatoes roll around in it.

Step Four. Place cookie sheet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes or so. Check in 5 minute increments after this and give the cookie pan a quick and gentle shake now and again. You want these to have a slight browning on them and the skin to be shrunk a little.

Once done to your liking, pull them out of the oven and let them slightly cool if you can. The heat brings out a sweetness in the tomatoes while the salty and slight crisp bring out a whole different profile. You can either eat these by themselves or in a variety of ways. My two favorite are:

1.) Puree them up with some goat cheese to make a roasted tomato goat cheese spread.

2.) Make some homemade pasta, toss with pesto and top with the tomatoes.

This time around I did the second one. We made up a batch of basil and garlic whole wheat pasta using basil and garlic from the garden, and tossed it with a batch of pesto Andy made. Oh, and you bet that’s my regular drying rack I’m using for the pasta. Dedicated pasta rack? Nonsense.

All I have to say is that anyway you cut it, these little toasty tomato poppers are absolutely scrumptulescent. I highly, highly, suggest them.

 xo,

Heather

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