I recently have discovered that I love tomatoes, absolutely love them! I have eaten tomatoes for years, but never truly realized their full potential until recently and have found myself using them on a more regular basis. Around middle school, I remember thinking to myself I should probably start eating healthier, how can I do that? My middle school mind thought, hmm…I will start slow and always ask for tomatoes on sandwiches and burgers because I will barely be able to tell they are there, but get use to the taste. Up until recently that is exactly how I viewed tomatoes, a little addition to my meal, but never the central point. Last summer on our small Atlanta balcony, we somehow managed to grow hundreds of cherry tomatoes and began adding them to more recipes simply to use them up. Somehow out of a single packet of seeds, every single plant came up! We were giving tomato plants away by the box full because it was much too difficult for Margaret to part with her little plant children, but sharing them made it okay. Even then we still didn’t realize the potential of those little wonders.
The change came about six months ago when we visited the Dekalb Farmer’s Market and then the Buford Farmer’s Market, and we found different tomato varieties that we would just snack on because they were so good! Then just a few months ago when we were at our local Aldi’s, they began selling a wild tomato arrangement, filled with little yellow, red, purple, and orange tomatoes. The tomatoes were absolutely delicious all on their own, but we wanted to incorporate them into recipes, so we made several dishes where tomatoes were the focal point. Incorporating our new found love of tomatoes with our other cooking love, Savory Spice (a spice shop throughout the country with incredible spice selections, but also located in our favorite Virginia Highlands neighborhood), we created one of our favorite recipes yet.
-Tomatoes (we prefer the little tomatoes marked as “wild”)
-Olive Oil (an essential in our home)
-Parmesan Pesto Sprinkle (from Savory Spice) or, if you don’t have it, parmesan sprinkle, basil, salt, and garlic.
We start by placing a drizzle of olive oil in the pan and have the pan start to heat up. While the olive oil begins to simmer, dice up the garlic into little pieces and place in the olive oil. You can use minced garlic, but it loses some of the flavor. Afterwards cut up the tomatoes into relatively small pieces, based on your preference. We tend to cut a standard cherry tomatoes into four pieces. After you cut some of the tomatoes, keep adding them to the pan, because then some of the tomatoes are a little softer, while some are a little harder to create more complexity into the consistency. The variance in each tomato’s firmness just makes each bite a little better for our personal preference. The tomatoes will also release their juice into the pan creating a very flavorful blend of spices, garlic, and the tomatoes themselves that is absolutely incredible! Afterwards, right as the tomatoes are finishing, sprinkle the Parmesan Pesto Sprinkle, or your own substitute into the dish, based on your personal preference. Once you have removed the pan from the oven, we add one last sprinkle of Parmesan Pesto Sprinkle. Then you are left with a very tasty, light, and refreshing dish, full of flavor! We have had this as the main course, side dish, or placed it on top of rice as almost a drizzle and have enjoyed it each way. We both highly recommend this tomato treat for any occasion, as it works as a hot winter meal, or a small summer bite to eat.