I recently had a fantastic dinner with family and friends at a popular Miami restaurant, Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink. The chef Michael Schwartz was just nominated as a semifinalist for a James Beard Award. We had a superb dinner with great food, interesting drinks and a fun vibe. We ordered a delicious side dish of wood-fired tomatoes that caught me by surprise with its simplicity. Although tomatoes are not in season in the northeast now, I attempted to re-create this dish at home. In a hot oven, I roasted whole cherry tomatoes tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme sprigs, until the little gems burst open. I topped the roasted tomatoes with pesto, crumbles of feta cheese and pine nuts. You can serve the warm roasted tomatoes with lightly toasted bread slices as a flavorful appetizer or toss over mixed greens for a hearty lunch.
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher or sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons pesto or to taste
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Top the tomatoes with the thyme sprigs. Roast the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through the cooking time. The tomatoes are done when they start to blister and burst open. Garnish the tomatoes with a big dollop of pesto, feta cheese and pine nuts. Serve the tomatoes warm or at room temperature.