Now, if the previous post made you long for summer tomatoes, here is a recipe for the next best thing — a roasted tomato and bean appetizer to put on crusty bread, using winter cherry tomatoes (even ones that are past their prime).

Roast until they are turning brown around the edges and oozing delicious juices. These are just starting.
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes (fine if they are past their prime)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus a bit for sautéing the onions
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, sliced or diced
  • 2 or 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp lemon zest, or 1 T preserved lemon, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

Toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, thyme, salt & pepper, and roast at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes – until they begin to caramelize and turn brown around the edges. While the tomatoes are roasting, sauté the onion with a bit of olive oil in a pan big enough to hold the whole dish (my pan is 10 inches). When the onion is soft, add the garlic cloves, and cook briefly. Add the cannellini beans, parsley and lemon, and heat through. When the tomatoes are done, scrap them and all their juices into the pan with the beans. Add the red pepper to taste.

Eat warm or cold, on crusty bread or on crackers. Or straight from the pan, with a spoon.

Think about summer. Repeat as needed.

It’s not necessarily beautiful, but it is OMG delicious.

I will admit here that this recipe is the result of a felicitous mistake. I set out to make Roasted Tomato and White Bean Stew, from the New York Times website, but somewhere along the way, I lost my train of thought. I was also baking some crusty bread, and I believe Daniel was making homemade bagels, and we have a very small kitchen, and too much was happening. I only had three-fourths of the tomatoes the original recipe called for, and I meant to reduce everything else proportionately, but I didn’t, except for the beans, where I cut the quantity in half. (My real goal for this exercise was to use up the slightly wilty cherry tomatoes, which had been sitting on the counter making me feel guilty for days.)

By the time I dumped the tomatoes into the beans and onions, and of course tasted the result, I had forgotten that I was aiming for stew. I dunno, I was admiring Daniel’s bagel-dipping technique, or something. Anyhow, the roasted-bean-and-tomato dip or spread or whatever it is (please feel free to tell me what you would call it in the comments!) was so delicious, all other thoughts were blown out of my mind, and it wasn’t until later that I remembered it was supposed to be a stew.

22 Comments on “winter tomatoes can also be good”

  1. What do you mean “It’s not necessarily beautiful”??? It is absolutely gorgeous if you ask me.
    I usually don’t keep bread in the house (too tempting), so I’d be eating it straight out of the pan. With a glass of red wine on the side.

  2. That is often how the best recipes develop Judy! It sounds very good and I will give this a go over the holidays. I love anything with cannellini. I think you could call this an antipasti dish here, which sounds really fancy but is Italian for a ‘starter’. 😉

  3. Ahhh, how can one go wrong with those luscious ingredients!? Sounds divine, Judy. Discovered a similar recipe for roasted ratatouille a while back that is also delicious spread on bread/crackers and accompanied by red wine. Forget the main course, just gimme a variety of appetizers! Merry Christmas y’all.

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