Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Balsamic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Plate of roasted tomatoes over greens
Roasted Tomatoes Over Spinach & Arugula

Recipe adapted from Slim & Scrumptious

My dearest departed friend’s name, when she was married to her first husband, was Joy Bauer. That was years before I knew her. We met late in her short life, but learned a lot about each other during the 5 years that we shared. She was a great cook and fellow foodie, but wished that she had more skill in preparing healthful, lighter meals.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I found a book on just such a topic by Joy Bauer in our library! Of course I took the book home, for its novelty factor. Our Joy would have called it synchronicity.

Husband's hand pouring dressing into bowl with tomatoes and basil
Adding the Basil and Dressing
I was doubly surprised and delighted to find so many intriguing recipes in the book. In fact, I bookmarked numerous pages to try before the book was due. Our Joy never used the library; she said it was too expensive. Tempted to check out too many books and losing track of due dates, she preferred to haunt local bookstores and yard sales. Following in her footsteps, I found too many recipes bookmarked too close to the due date, and promptly bought Slim & Scrumptious from Amazon. It turns out that this cookbook has a 4.5 star rating, and Joy Bauer is quite famous.

You might already know that Joy Bauer is the Today Show’s dietician, and she hosts several nutrition and weight loss segments. Or you might know Joy as Florence Henderson’s partner in Good Food Good Deeds, a TV show associated with the Los Angeles Meals on Wheels program, helping seniors to eat well.  Or you might be familiar with Joy’s book Food Cures, which contains dietary suggestions for naturally treating health issues, from dental problems to high blood pressure to arthritis. Our Joy could have benefited greatly from watching dietician Joy.

Basket of homegrown cherry tomatoes
Garden-fresh Inspiration for Tonight's Recipe
Joy (the dietician) recommends this recipe for winter when most tomatoes look rather anemic, and grape tomatoes are the best choice. I substituted my late season cherry tomatoes from the garden. Delicious! The recipe is easy and I changed only the mixing method. Joy recommends serving these over wholewheat pasta or fish. I also found them a tasty and colorful topping for steamed greens.

Plate of Celery and Fish topped with Roasted Tomatoes
Over Fish with Braised Celery
Balsamic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
serves ~ 4 - 6

2 containers grape or cherry tomatoes, about 4 cups
2 cloves garlic, or to taste
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
~12 fresh basil leaves

Slice cherry tomatoes in half. If using grape tomatoes, slice in half lengthwise. Put into medium small bowl.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.

Mince or press garlic. Snip basil leaves into thin strips.

Stir together balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. Stir in basil.

Pour dressing over tomatoes and toss thoroughly. Turn out onto baking sheet. Spread out tomatoes into single layer.

Roast for 15 or 20 minutes, until bubbly, fragrant, and slightly shriveled. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Closeup View of Balsamic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Closeup of Tonight's Summery Treat

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