Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Longing for the taste of a summer tomato?  This is the next best thing.  The slow roasting process yields a flavour-packed punch to the taste buds.  Sounds tedious, but trust me, it’s just delightful.  And so much better than the sun-dried tomatoes you buy in a jar!  Well worth the long roasting time.

I threw them on top of a rice and lentil dish as a garnish, but they could also be used to top some ricotta on crusty bread, maybe with a little balsamic reduction.  Or on top of pasta with some Parmesan and basil.

Whatever you don’t use right away (or eat off the pan like I did) can be put in a jar, topped up with olive oil, and refrigerated for use later.  Imagine the possibilities!

What you need:

-a whole bunch of cherry or grape tomatoes

-olive oil

-salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 225F.

2.  Slice the tomatoes in half and put them on a baking sheet.

3.  Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, then salt and pepper them.

4.  Roast them for 2 – 2.5 hours, until they have lost most of their moisture but are not crispy.  You will need to watch them for the last half hour or so if the process so you don’t overdo them.

5.  Let the tomatoes cool and then place them in a jar. Add olive oil to cover the tomatoes, and store the far in the fridge. The olive oil can be used for cooking foods like tomato sauces, and making salad dressing.

Spaghetti Squash with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives

I love the idea of spaghetti squash, but I find it doesn’t have quite enough flavour on its own.  As my friend Meredyth says, sundried tomatoes make everything better.  I feel the same way about olives.  This easy recipe isn’t shy on taste, and it is super healthy and all-vegetable.  And  nut.  Okay, and olives are actually a fruit . . . but you get the point.

What you need:

1 spaghetti squash

6 sundried tomatoes

1 lemon, juice and zest

2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped basil

1/2 clove garlic, finely diced

about a dozen kalamata olives

1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts

What you do:

1.  Cut the squash in half, scoop the seeds out and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes.

2.  While the squash is baking toast the pine nuts.

3.  When the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes, until it is cool enough to handle.

4.  Combine the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, basil, sundried tomatoes, olives, garlic and basil.

5.  Remove the squash from the shells by scraping with a fork.  Add the other ingredients to the squash.

Ready, easy and yummy!