Monday, July 25, 2011

Love them 'maters!

I love me a 'mater.

Sliced heirlooms sprinkled with a little salt and pepper.  A bright caprese drizzled with balsamic vinegar with tons of fresh basil.  Fresh grape tomatoes in a salad, exploding with 'matery goodness.  'Mater soup with a grilled cheese and 'mater sandwich. In braising sauces. In pastas. In couscous.  I love 'em.

However, some folks are not as enthusiastic about the tomato. 

Yet last night, I made a couple of skeptics true believers of the humble 'mater with the best darned side dish, perfect for steak or your backyard grill fest.

Roasted Tomatoes and Pepadews

Roasting the tomatoes with the garlic and thyme adds a wonderful depth of flavor, especially when combined with the bright, vinegary peppers and cilantro.

1 lb whole cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic (whole)
6-8 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup pepadew peppers, quartered
2 Tbl fresh cilantro
olive oil
salt 'n pepper

Preheat oven to 450.  On a baking sheet, drizzle a generous amount of olive oil onto the tomatoes, garlic cloves, and thyme.  Season them with salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Pop in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the flesh of the tomatoes begins to burst.  Set aside to cool slightly and discard garlic and thyme (although you may want to eat those roasty, toasty garlic cloves...yum).

In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, pepadews, and cilantro.  If it appears a bit dry, drizzle a little olive oil or pepadew vinegar over the whole shootin' match.  Toss together and serve. 

These are also fabulous at room temperature as the flavors will marry the longer they sit.  Just cover with plastic wrap.

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