Not Quite Summer Tomatoes

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I love tomatoes, I know some people feel differently, but I think it all started growing up and my grandfather had tomato vines in his garden, and in July and August we would run down to the garden pick a few and then run back up to the house and make tomato sandwiches for lunch. For me great tomatoes are what summer is all about ...

And this time of year, just on the verge of the perfect tomato season, I am looking for ways great ways to serve up these red beauties outside of two slices of sourdough bread. After reading a New York Times article about Roasted Winter Tomatoes, I took it upon myself to try something similar the other night for dinner.

I started with a mix of tomatoes from our table, a few Heirlooms, some Romas, and a handful of yellow cherry tomatoes. Then just gave them a rough cut to make the sizes slightly more even for roasting and waited for the oven hit 400°.

I tossed them with a fair amount of olive oil, salt (one thing I learned while cooking professionally, is always use more salt than you might naturally, it is the foundation of the whole meal), pepper, two cloves of garlic and thyme. Then on a sheet pan it went with just some parchment paper to help with clean-up and into the oven they went.

I let them roast until they had a nice amount of char on them, I wasn’t as worried about them holding their shape as I was tossing them in with pasta to make a light sauce. Though depending on how you are wanting to use your roasted tomatoes either leaving them whole or simply cutting them in half will help preserve their shape.

I pulled everything together by cooking some of our fresh pasta al dente, tossing the warm tomatoes and pasta together, and I was sure to scrape the oil and bit off the parchment paper in with the pasta. Then finished with a bit of fresh herbs, spinach, and burrata (if you haven’t tired burrata before, consider this your invitation). Now this is how I did it, but the brilliance of these Not Quite Summer Tomatoes is they are great in a bunch of ways. An appetizer of roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, and arugula is a crowd pleaser. Or top your burgers with their roasty flavors. Another suggestion I love is halved and topped with Parmesan as a side dish.

I guess the only suggestion is dig into tomatoes now, no need to hold out until July.