Why tomatoes and thyme?
Researchers have found that lycopene, found in tomatoes, helps fight cancer, as explained in my earlier post, Sun Dried Tomato Flavor Cubes. Also, terpenes found in thyme, help to fight cancer, as explained in my earlier post, Basil Pesto Flavor Cubes.
ROASTED GRAPE TOMATOES with THYME
I had just finished baking a few batches of biscotti and the oven was still hot. So I thought: What can I cook now while the oven is still hot? With two pints of beautiful grape tomatoes on hand, I decided to bake the tomatoes so as to have a great side dish to go with the fish we are having for dinner. (By the way, Lady Moon Farms Organic Grape Tomatoes are currently on sale at my Whole Foods store – and maybe at a Whole Foods near you – for only $1.99 per pint, and that’s half their usual price.)
2 pints grape or small cherry tomatoes (organic, if possible)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salt to taste, if desired
1 – 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (leaves), to taste
It can be tedious to strip thyme leaves off of their stems, so here’s a time saving tip I just discovered for making this process quick and easy (and, contrary to what I had stated earlier, I just found that this works whether the thyme has woody or soft stems!)
- Wash the fresh thyme and spin dry it
- Place the spun-dry thyme into a quart-size plastic bag for the freezer and freeze.
- When the thyme has frozen, remove the bag with the thyme from the freezer, and without opening the bag, grab onto the sprigs of thyme and rub them vigorously against each other. Very soon (or in no time at all), almost all of the leaves of thyme will fall off the stems and end up in the bottom of the freezer bag!
- Now when you need a teaspoon of fresh thyme, just spoon it out of the freezer bag!
- Note: To be kind to the environment and save yourself some more time, re-use the plastic bag — without washing it. When you’ve used up all the thyme leaves and only the stems remain in the bag, toss out the stems, but keep the bag, as is, in the freezer. Then just add more clean fresh thyme and repeat!
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the grape tomatoes onto the baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and mix them around with your hands so that all the tomatoes are lightly coated with olive oil. Add freshly ground black pepper and salt, if desired, to taste.
Place the pan with the tomatoes into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes; stir the tomatoes around gently. Bake for about 10 more minutes, or until the tomato skins start to shrivel and a few of the tomatoes burst.
Caution: When you open the oven door, you may get hit with hot steam. So keep your face away until the steam dissipates!
Remove the pan from oven and place the tomatoes and the juices from the tomatoes, if any, into a container for serving or storing in the refrigerator. Scatter the thyme over the tomatoes; mix gently.
Serve and enjoy:
- With Egg White Puffs or Sauted Herbs for Breakfast (one more herb won’t hurt!).
- As a side dish with baked or sauted fish, chicken, or tofu.
- As a topping for a slice of whole grain garlic toast!
Enjoy and be healthy,