This is an amazing summer dish that I can’t recommend enough, especially now that we’re at the height of tomato season. I originally paired California black figs with this, but now that I’ve tried some more figs, I think that tiger figs might actually have gone better. (I’ve never tried figs before this summer. I’m still learning.)  Throw these roasted tomatoes in with burrata, and the end result is goddamn amazing. 

Marinated Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Burrata and Toast

Ingredients

  • .25 c olive oil
  • 2.5 c cherry tomatoes of various types, halved
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • dash of thyme (fresh if you have it, dried if you don’t)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • dried Greek oregano to taste
  • fresh figs, halved, to taste
  • 2-3 balls burrata
  • slices of sourdough, roasted garlic, or crusty bread of choice
  • olive oil and garlic clove for the toast

Preheat your oven to 225, and half your cherry tomatoes. drizzling with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Slow roast the tomatoes for three hours, until they’re nice and wrinkly and juicy. Then, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper, basil, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, and greek oregano. Add in your tomatoes, toss to coat, and marinate for 2-4 hours at room temperature, or just toss them in the fridge to absorb the flavors. 

When you’re ready to eat them, take your slices of bread, rub them in olive oil and a halved garlic clove. Hold your toast over an open flame, or in a grill pan, and heat until it’s lightly charred on each side, about 2-3 minutes a side. 

Slice your figs, layer them in a bowl with the burrata ball, layer the cherry tomatoes on top, and have a piece of toast on the side to dip into all the various juices, and enjoy the resulting amazingness!

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I want to start this recipe with a disclaimer. Tieghan makes amazing recipes. A lot of her stuff is in my arsenal, or on my to-try list. HOWEVER. I usually end up cutting out upwards of three or four ingredients of hers per recipe, because as nice as those things are, they’re there more for garnish, and don’t really add anything to the dish. Here, I cut… three things, but we’ve still got a damn amazing recipe here. 

The most expensive things you will likely have to get are the cherry tomatoes and the feta, but the rest you likely either have in your pantry/fridge, or can find them nearby for reasonable prices. You can still make this for a pretty reasonable price, and it makes enough for you to have leftovers and then some. 

Twenty Minute Mediterranean Hummus Noodles with Blistered Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 6 baby bell peppers (I used about half of what the original recipe recommends, found them cheap at my local grocery, look for sweet snacking peppers)
  • pinch sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • .75 lb thin spaghetti, or your personal preferred thin pasta (I went angel hair here)
  • .75 c of your favorite hummus (roasted garlic, here)
  • 1 c pasta cooking water (drain this off right before you’re done!)
  • 1 c fresh basil (I tore it, Tieghan isn’t really clear on if it needs to be chopped, diced, left whole, etc)
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • .25 c kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 T oregano, chopped
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 4 oz feta crumbles

Take a pot of water, salt it, and bring it to a boil.  While the pot warms up and begins to boil, take a large grill pan, pour 2 T olive oil in, and heat over high heat. Once heated, add the cherry tomatoes, baby bell peppers, and a pinch of sea salt and pepper, and grill until the cherries begin to wrinkle and grill marks appear on the peppers, flipping from side to side. The difference between pictures one to three here is about 10 minutes’ time, and pic 3 is what it should look like at the end of that time. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.

Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to instructions, until al dente. Right as it finishes, scoop off one cup of the water the pasta’s cooked in, and add it to a medium sized bowl. Then drain the pasta, and let it sit a minute while you get the next part ready. 

To the pasta cooking water, add the hummus, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes, and whisk together until you’ve got a thin sauce (see pic five). Let it sit a bit to thicken. Then, take your pasta, and toss it to coat with the sauce. 

Take 1 c of your blistered cherry tomatoes, put them in a small bowl, and smash them lightly with a fork, so that the juices are released. Stir in the oregano, chopped kalamatas, remaining 2 T olive oil, a bit of sea salt and pepper to taste, and balsamic, and toss to combine. 

When ready to eat, take the sauced pasta, add the tomato-olive mix, a few blistered tomatoes and peppers, and feta, and toss to combine, and then enjoy the amazingness!

I threw this together quick as a way to use up the last of the cherry tomatoes and basil in the front garden (which, with the way the temps have been dropping at night, are pretty much dead now). Caprese is one of my favorite things to do in the summer months, so getting to translate it to yet another form is even more fun.

Caprese Couscous

Ingredients

  • 1 c water
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 c couscous (I used pearl)
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 8 oz ball mozzarella, cubed
  • 2 T basil, torn
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and pepper

Quarter your tomatoes, and put them in a small baking dish, drizzling olive oil over them. Roast at 400 for 25 minutes. To the roasted tomatoes, add your cubed mozzarella (to do so, take your ball, and, if pre-sliced, slice into strips horizontally, then vertically. If not sliced, slice a half inch thick, and then do the same.), torn basil, and garlic. Mix, and let sit.

Bring a cup of water and the 2 T olive oil to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in your cup of cous cous and a touch of sea salt, and cover again, cooling for 10 minutes.

Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and stir into the caprese mix, sprinkling pepper on. And then, enjoy your caprese cous cous!

This one was a bit of work to put together, but honestly, it was worth it. The bread came from a one-off batch of beer bread that the people who do my sourdough at the farmer’s market came out with a few weeks ago.  The hummus and soft eggs both come from existing recipes that are linked in their listing in the ingredients.

And honestly, the rest I winged, and made a few changes to.  Either way, the resulting breakfast was utterly perfect.  If slightly long on the title; anyone with any ideas on how to shorten it, I’m all ears.

Dukkah is another new and interesting spice blend I recommend; I got mine from the Spice Sage, as no one around here does it.

Soft Eggs with Hummus, Roasted Olives, Tomatoes, and Capers, Goat Cheese, and Dukkah
Lasts appx five days of breakfast in the amts I made it

Ingredients

  • equal amounts cherry tomatoes, quartered; kalamata olives, whole; capers (mine was appx .5 c on all)
  • olive oil
  • soft goat cheese
  • Roasted Garlic Hummus
  • bread
  • soft eggs

Preheat your oven to 400, and combine your quartered cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and capers with olive oil in a small baking dish. Roast for 20 minutes, and remove.  Mix your goat cheese in with the roasted salad.

Take a slice of bread, and spread the hummus over it. Put a soft egg on top, splitting it so that the yolk spills over it. Sprinkle dukkah on the bread. Scoop some of the salad, and sprinkle the dukkah on that.

And then enjoy your slightly nontraditional breakfast!

I made this recipe on something of a whim, as the cherry tomato plant in my front garden is undergoing a sudden late summer second fruiting (I’d honestly thought it was done for the year earlier in August). It’s a pretty simple, but very flavorful recipe, and a perfect change in pace for breakfast.

Baked Eggs on Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 c (1 lb, 1 qt) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • .25 c grated Parmesan
  • 2 T olive oil
  • small handful fresh basil, torn
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bring out your eggs now and let them sit while you get everything else ready.

Arrange your halved tomatoes in a single layer (I did it in multiple, it still worked but would probably have worked best in a single layer) in a baking dish.  Bake your tomatoes for twelve minutes.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle the Parmesan and minced garlic over them, drizzle on the olive oil, and then add the basil, sea salt, and pepper. 

Crack your eggs evenly over the dish, leaving an intact yolk as much as possible (see pic 3). Bake another 8 to 10 minutes, but check at 8 minutes to see if a) the whites have set and b) that the yolks are still jiggly if you shake the pan a bit.  If this is the case, remove the dish from the oven.  (The eggs will continue to cook after you remove them from the oven.)

Sprinkle the eggs with sea salt and pepper and a bit of torn basil, and then enjoy your summery breakfast!

A good caprese salad is an amazing thing in the summer. However, when you can elevate it by slow roasting the tomatoes (even better if you have a small plant going like I do and it’s going through a late summer resurgence), and adding a pan-seared oven finished steak to the mix, you have what I’m pretty damn sure is the perfect salad. 

Steak Caprese Salad
Lasts 4 to 5 lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pan-seared, oven finished steak
  • olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package of mozzarella pearls, drained
  • salt and pepper
  • basil leaves in whatever amount you prefer, torn

Take your pint of cherry tomatoes, half them, drizzle olive oil over them, and roast for two hours in your oven at 225 degrees, until wrinkled at the edges. Make your steak following the directions linked either before or right after the tomatoes are done roasting.  Let it rest, and slice it thin, and each thin slice in half vertically.

Combine the roasted cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls first, tossing to combine; keep all of the tomato juices that come from the roasted tomatoes, it makes a great dressing for this. Then, toss in the steak slices, and the basil to finish, and enjoy your awesome salad.

This is the start of the garden for this year – I finally decided to use the front wired off space, as no one seemed to be using it, and with the exception of a few smaller herbs from one of my neighbors, it is just me.

So far, except for the strawberries, which haven’t shown up at the market yet in the form I want to plant them, this is likely gonna be my final garden. I might add another oregano and peppermint, or marjoram, and maybe another cherry tomato plant, but for the most part, I’m happy with what I’ve got going.

The back wall is herbs, either in planters or in the cinder blocks. In order, l to r, there are: peppermint, African blue basil, Genovese basil, chocolate mint (in the orange pot) and Greek oregano. In between the Genovese basil and the chocolate mint, there’s what I’m pretty sure is a lavender plant, and overthrowing most of the garden, what I’m 99% sure is coriander. Can anyone confirm?

The front row are my veggies: l to r, there are cherry tomatoes, two bell peppers (red and orange), and a large tomato plant (husky reds).

All of these are two to three weeks in my care now, and doing spectacularly; the herbs are growing and flowering, and all the veggies are flowering (in the case of the cherry tomato, already putting out small fruits).

If you have any suggestions, let me know!