Everyone knows that cherry tomatoes are best when popped right into your mouth after picking, hot from the summer sun and exploding with the first bite. For years, my grandparents used to have massive cherry tomato plants in their garden. My sister, cousin, and I would go down to the garden with our grandparents and each fill up a small bucket with these bite-size treasures. My cousin and I would eat them with much pleasure (my sister was a picky eater), but I remember that she always would say she didn’t like regular tomatoes, only cherry tomatoes. I distinctly recall sitting in the back of my grandfather’s rusty, blue truck (which he lovingly called “Old Blue”) and eating handfuls and handfuls of tomatoes. We didn’t even bother wiping off the tomatoes before we ate them. In a way, I still enjoy them to this day unwashed, with a thin layer of red mud lending an earthy flavor and grainy texture to the cherry tomato. For me, this is summer. Cherry tomatoes are simple (I mean I don’t even have to wash them), sweet, juicy, and when freshly picked, hot. All of these adjectives also describe summer in my book.
Although I have mainly eaten cherry tomatoes in their raw form, I saw a recipe in Cooking Light the other day that was supposedly simple and included cherry tomatoes. It was a pasta dish and I was happy to see there was no marinara (I hate that stuff) but a good amount of garlic and olive oil (which are more my speed). I had noticed some whole wheat penne in the pantry. Although the recipe called for linguine, I figured I would try the recipe anyway. It was a keeper. I really enjoyed the roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes which were just starting to pop open from the heat. Although penne was not the easiest pasta to eat with chunky toppings, the taste was fantastic. I added basil and parmesan on top. The recipe was decidedly simple, it took me about thirty minutes to make the recipe but it wasn’t very much work, mainly just waiting on the pasta to boil. In the future, I think that this dish could also be good with other summer vegetables, like squash and zucchini. Less simplicity but a good way to use up these abundant summer veggies. Here is the link to the recipe. Enjoy!