I took the girls to the somewhat local (@45 minutes away) Knaus Berry Farm the other day.  It’s a wonderful old-fashioned bakery/farm with a great variety of produce, fresh-baked breads and sweets.  Our plan was to pick strawberries but other hands had gathered them over the weekend so we settled for grape tomatoes. Ella had an exciting time picking them while Willow sat in the stroller resembling a baby bird with her wide open mouth. They both must have eaten a pound each!  Since we showed up on a Tuesday, we had the place to ourselves and collected over five pounds of these little jewels and needless to say, they were delicious.

Knaus Berry Farm (click)

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our beautiful bounty from Knaus Berry Farm

I love grape tomatoes raw and roasted.  They are full of anti-oxidants, beta-carotene and plenty of other vitamins. Cooking tomatoes actually enhances their nutritional value.  A win-win as most cooked vegetables lose valuable nutrients when cooked.  I use my roasted tomatoes in a variety of dishes I’ll list below.  There is something just so satisfying about the farm-to-table experience and it makes me so happy to share this with my kids.

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before and after roasting

I preheat my oven to 400, mix the cherry tomatoes (they will shrink so use a lot, I used all five pounds) with olive oil, pressed garlic, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for @45 minutes to and hour and then, this is important, shut the oven off to set.  I do this with everything and for whatever reason, letting a non-flour dish that I’m baking sit in the oven after it’s off helps everything settle together.  Store the tomatoes with or without the liquid in a container in the refrigerator.  Enjoy in a variety of ways!

The other night, in a casserole, I baked my roasted tomatoes (liquid included) with the following:

1 eggplant, cubed

1 zucchini, cubed

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated Italian cheese

A few drizzles of olive oil.

Salt and pepper

Mix these ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a casserole dish. Top this with more breadcrumbs, cheese with a few drizzles of olive oil and bake at 350 degrees for around an hour, shut the oven off and it’s ready to serve.  I was thinking some fresh mozzarella pieces mixed in this dish would be fantastic as well.  Also, you could add whatever other vegetables you like.  Tony and I ate the whole thing!

More ideas….

Mix the roasted tomatoes with fresh parsley, capers and olive oil as a topping for fish.

Use in the eggplant pasta sauce found on the blog, under ‘Aubergine, Rich and Healthy’.

Mix them in with pine nuts and fresh basil in quinoa or couscous.

In omelettes, quesadillas, on pizza…and more!

I hope you love them!