I Eat Plants: Tomato Time!

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My favorite part of summer has become walking through the Farmers Markets and picking out delicious, seasonal food to eat over the next week.  I look forward to a few things:   when you first spot strawberries, when it tuns cooler and you have all the makings for kimchi, and mid summer, when you first start seeing the grape and cherry tomatoes!

If you’re familiar with my personal blog, The Picky Vegan, this might surprise you.  Tomatoes are one of the foods I really don’t care for- but done just right, I absolutely love them.

So what do I do with those tomatoes?

Roast them.

I like to throw them on a pan, at about 400F for around 20 minutes.  For grape sized tomatoes I leave them whole, and the larger cherry tomatoes I cut in half.  The whole grape tomatoes will burst open, but that’s okay.  If you’re worried about a messy pan, line with aluminum foil.

I toss with olive oil and a bit of sea salt before they go into the oven.

The come out sweet, juicy, smokey and a little bit salty- a perfect combo.

My go to way to serve these is over pasta, typically tossed with pesto.  I’m trying to limit the pasta these days, but zucchini noodles make an excellent substitute.  You can turn your zucchini into noodles using  a vegetable spiralizer, vegetable peeler or a sharp knife- no cooking required!

A mix of roasted cherry and grape tomatoes over zucchini noodles, tossed with pesto.

A mix of roasted cherry and grape tomatoes over zucchini noodles, tossed with pesto.

Tossed with spinach, pasta and Basilicotta.

Tossed with spinach, pasta and Basilicotta.

They make a great topping for a variety of foods, and can be eaten hot, cold or at room temp.  I recently served them as a topper for toasted garlic ciabatta (spread with Basilicotta).

Over toasted ciabatta rubbed with garlic, and spread with Basilicotta.

Over toasted ciabatta rubbed with garlic, and spread with Basilicotta.

Throw them into a salad, serve with rice, put them on a sandwich or just eat them straight off the pan- you can’t go wrong with these!

I know it can be a little daunting to turn on the oven so high in the heat, but it’s for just a brief time, and you can make one batch for the whole week- if you can resist eating them all at once!

Do you have a favorite way to use tomatoes?  Better yet, are you a tomato hater who has found a way to love tomatoes?

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About Author

I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan.

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