I’ve got 2 pint boxes of grape tomatoes stacked in my fridge. Plus 2 fat, purple (why are they called red?) onions, 2 golden summer squash, but no fresh basil unfortunately. I also unearthed a half-full box of farfalle in the cupboard, so this will be supper this evening.
I’ll keep the tomatoes whole, chunk the onions and the squash, douse them with olive oil and sea salt, and onto two baking pans with sides they’ll go. I’m still lamenting the absence of fresh basil, so I guess I’ll sprinkle the veggies with dried basil. Sometimes you have to make do.
I’ve learned to always scoop out about 1 cup of pasta cooking water before I drain the pasta, so I can soup up the dish if I want to, once I’ve put everything together. That little act is now on my Essential Cooking Tips list.
I now think of grape and cherry tomatoes as dessert. These guys are popping with sweetness that stings, but just a little bit. I am learning how versatile these babies are, and the many dimensions of their personalities, wherever they show up.
As I’ve already confessed, I passed up the grape tomatoes served to us at the ends of our meals when we were in Taipei earlier this summer. The reason? Because I thought they came at the wrong time in the meal. Tomatoes belong on either greens or pasta and as a first or second course. Then one day I figured I might have something to learn. I picked off a handful as the platter went past.
Those little bursts of life gave me a new view of dessert. I was full of spring-time flavor, all thoughts of chocolate banished by the surprising brightness.
Last week our older daughter treated Merle and me to a meal from her kitchen. It was a Father’s/Mother’s Day dinner, and each bite was splendid.
She filled every inch of a skillet’s bottom with grape tomatoes and cooked them until just before they burst. Then she spun them and a few herbs and olive oil into pasta. I went sailing off somewhere into blue-sky heaven with each mouthful.
Here’s the blog, “Simply Recipes,” offering what Elise calls “tomato candy,” this one a Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad recipe.
Here's the link to the recipe:
Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad