If like us you have a vegetable garden, you know now’s the moment when all the planting, watering and pruning of the last three months is literally bearing fruit in overwhelming abundance. For us that means on a daily basis collecting buckets of sweet, bursting-with-flavor cherry tomatoes and a nice little crop of green and yellow zucchini, too.
Just one day’s harvest of our cherry tomato crop.
It’s so easy to eat fresh cherry tomatoes, popping one after another into our mouths like candy and adding them to all variety of summer salads. But with so many to go through at once, my better half came up with a recipe to make sure that none goes to waste.
Sweet, gently baked cherry tomatoes with garden herbs.
This stew, as we call it, tastes so sublime it’s tough not to eat it straight out of the wok (our preferred cooking utensil). However you choose to enjoy it, I recommend eating it along with a good quality baguette or a chunk of sourdough bread to soak up every bit of sauce.
The fried onion and zucchini should still have some bite.
We hope you find it as delicious as we do and if you have any ideas for other ways to make the most of your tomato crop — cherry or otherwise — then please drop a line and let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Enjoy!
What you don’t eat right away you can store in jars for another time.
Fresh-off-the-vine cherry tomato and zucchini stew
Easily serves two as a main or four as a side dish.
1kg cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, peeled and cut in 8 wedges
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 stems of fresh basil leaves with stems
Handful fresh oregano leaves (stems removed)
4 fresh laurel leaves
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 green (or yellow) zucchini, finely cubed (about 200g)
1 fresh garlic clove, finely chopped
6 sundried tomato halves (in oil or dry), coarsely chopped
Handful of fresh oregano and basil leaves, coarsely chopped
200ml tomato coulis (I prefer Heinz)
½ liter vegetable stock (I prefer Knorr Töpfli stock pots)
100ml red wine
Balsamic vinegar velouté (I prefer Maille Velours de vinaigre Balsamique)
Dried chili flakes (or Espalette chili powder as an option)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation of oven ingredients:
- Preheat the oven to 200°Celsius (400 Fahrenheit)Put cherry tomatoes in a baking tray, along with the onion, garlic, basil, oregano and laurel. Drizzle olive oil over the mix, season with salt and mix using your hands.
- Put the tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes (give the mix a quick, gentle stir after 15 minutes). After 30 minutes, turn the oven off, give another gentle stir, and leave in the oven until your sauce is prepared.
Preparation of sauce:
While the tomatoes roast in the oven prepare your sauce.
- In a deep pan or wok warm some olive oil and fry the onions for 2 minutes until slightly glassy then add the garlic and zucchini and fry for another 2 minutes. Add the sundried tomatoes and oregano. Stir and fry for another minute (the onions and zucchini should be soft but still have a bit of bite).
- Add the tomato coulis, the vegetable stock, and the red wine.
- Stir, simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the oven baked tomatoes (discarding the bay leaves and the stems from the basil) and gently stir again.
- Simmer for another 5 minutes, season again if desired, then remove the pan from the heat.
- As a final touch, add a pinch of chili flakes or Espelette powder and a tablespoon of the balsamic velouté. Top with some shredded basil leaves to serve.