Roasted Grape Tomatoes with Garlic, Basil and Olive Oil
It just does not get any better than this. Make this recipe when locally grown tomatoes are available. However, since store-bought cherry and grape tomatoes are usually tasty all year long, and roasting them enhances the flavor, I make it any time for a little taste of summer goodness. It is a quick, easy, healthy, elegant and absolutely delicious Italian-inspired side dish for a busy weeknight or special occasion.
Since the tomatoes can be served at room temperature, they are the perfect unexpected surprise at a potluck event. The recipe can easily be made in any amount needed and leftovers are equally good. See the notes below for an interesting variation.
- 2 pints whole grape or cherry tomatoes, rinsed and patted dry
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic, about 1 large clove
- Olive oil, about 1 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
Preheat oven to 425° F. For easy cleanup, line a large shallow-sided baking sheet pan with heavy duty foil and spray lightly with olive oil spray. (A shallow baking dish will work as well.) Place tomatoes in the pan. Season with the salt, pepper and garlic. Drizzle with the olive oil. Toss gently with your hands. Roast until the smallest tomatoes begin to pop, about 15 minutes, depending on size. Transfer to a bowl; add the basil and toss. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
Notes: If necessary, the tomatoes can be roasted at a slightly higher or lower temperature if the oven is being used for another dish. For a variation, add some diced fresh mozzarella or goat cheese to the cooked tomatoes for another interesting layer of flavor and texture.