The winter makes me long for comfort food. I want to bundle up in my favorite sweater and eat pumpkin pie by the fire. If it weren’t so messy or ridiculous, I’d dive into a vat of hot cocoa with marshmallows. Now that the temperature in Nashville has finally dropped, I’m aching to make hearty soups and stews. But the cold weather also makes me long for the things I can’t have any longer, such as fresh vegetables from my garden. While we can easily pull the potted herbs inside for continued use, peppers and cucumbers are a bit more difficult to transport. We’ve moved on to acorn squash and other winter legumes instead; I’m a big believer in eating whatever is in season. However, the one vegetable I find I miss is the vine-ripened tomato. It’s amazing how much I take those lovely things for granted during the summer months. I use them in everything from salads, to appetizers, to sauces, so their sudden absence is very apparent. They are just so darned versatile! Last winter, I collected the final fruits of our tomato crop and decided to find a way to make them last a bit longer. I wound up stumbling onto a little secret: roasted tomatoes are divine! Not to mention, they keep a lot longer than the fresh ones and can easily be jarred for longer storage. Those little guys are downright phenomenal in a BLT, are a gorgeous accompaniment to a cheese or charcuterie tray, and even provide a wonderful garnish for a New Year’s Eve martini. I’m just saying~ sometimes Mama likes a good martini. Vivent les tomates!! In case you feel like trying an obscenely simple recipe that’s tart, delicious and all-purpose, here it is:
My Rockin’ Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Recipe created by Jenna von Oy
Approx. 30 cherry tomatoes (a mix of yellow and red looks festive!)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. Spanish extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. sugar (raw sugar is wonderful, but granulated is fine)
1 tbsp. Herbes de Provence
Salt & Pepper to taste
~ Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
~Cut all of your tomatoes in half and spread them out on a non-stick baking sheet, face up. In other words, the rounded portion of the fruit should be touching the pan.
~ Drizzle the olive oil over the tomato halves
~ Sprinkle your garlic, Herbes de Provence, sugar, salt and pepper (as evenly as possible) over your tomatoes.
~ Roast for approximately 40minutes-1 hour, or until the tomatoes are caramelized, but still soft.
*** You can just as easily use Roma tomatoes or any other kind of flavorful tomato. You may also want to play around with the herbs you use, if you are feeling creative!
*** If you plan to store your tomatoes for an extended period of time, please be sure to research and follow proper canning methods!
Hope this brings you as much delight during the winter months as it has for my family and I!
Until next time… Peace, Love, & Dirty Diapers,
Jenna von Oy
PS. Congratulations to the two winners of my Hungry Girl recipe contest in December! Erin Wray of Indiana, and Melissa Foster of Virginia both won the brand new Hungry Girl:To The Max! Happy cooking, ladies!
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