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Herb Roasted Tomatoes

I first tasted these little gems on my first trip to Paris. Roasted tomatoes appeared on plates at cafes all over town: beside slices of quiche, beds of mixed greens, and pieces of roasted chicken. They weren't on the menu as part of the dish; they just seemed to come with everything, and once I tasted them, I knew why.

Everyone thinks the best tomatoes are the ripe, juicy ones of Summer, but shhh...don't tell anyone: I like these better. As someone who tries to eat what the Seasons offer, I know, I know. It's gauche to eat tomatoes in the Fall and Winter. 

But these are so good. 

I usually snag several roasted tomatoes straight off the roasting pan as soon as they are cool enough to handle. I pop them like candy. You could serve them with cheese and cured meats on a charcuterie platter or toss them into an omelet or egg scramble. A local restaurant here in North Carolina - Southern Roots in Jamestown - serves roasted Roma tomatoes on a steak salad and I've recreated it at home on multiple occasions: A whole head of romaine lettuce topped with seared steak (flat iron or NY Strip for their leanness), bleu cheese, caramelized onions, and of course - a generous handful of these herb roasted tomatoes .


INGREDIENTS

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

olive oil

4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme 

sea salt & fresh black pepper 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

2. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Strip the thyme sprigs of their leaves and sprinkle them over the tomatoes. Toss gently to combine and then spread the tomatoes out into one layer. (Turn them cut side up if you can.)

3. Place in preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and the skins start to blister and caramelize around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature.