Roasted Cherry Tomatoes for Salads, Pasta, and Appetizers

If there is such as thing as too many cherry tomatoes, and I could swear I heard someone grousing about that a couple of days ago, it is not a problem I have ever had. In fact, I can hardly ever just get them into the house because a sun warmed little tomato is just the best ever garden snack, plucked off the vine directly into my mouth.

I had a good bit of motivation to resist, however, when Gina Doyle of Ripley sent along this great idea of what to do with a quart of ripe cherry tomatoes. With three plants–one Sungold, one Grape, and a charming heirloom black-red whose name I forget—I finally assembled close to a quart of them. I love roasting vegetables because their flavor is so wonderfully intensified, so Gina’s recipe really appealed to me, and even though the idea of storing some away is a good one, we wiped out the entire batch in one sitting.

Gina wrote, “I can’t remember where exactly I got this idea. I’m sure I read about it somewhere or perhaps a friend told me about it.” Gina uses parchment paper to line a cookie sheet. I’ve become a real parchment paper believer and in this case it is particularly helpful because roasted tomatoes stuck on a baking sheet would be such a nuisance to clean. “If you have a heavy duty sheet,” she advised, “it works better as the thinner ones tend to warp at higher temperatures.”

Gina recommended basil, oregano, and/or rosemary, fresh or dried, in addition to garlic to season the tomatoes. I chose basil along with coarse pickling salt and pepper. I served them on French bread rounds with grated fresh Parmesan over them. They just vanished off the plate. They’d be wonderful tossed with pasta, or added to a salad. I want to try them tossed with green beans.

So now, back out to the plants and the struggle to resist eating them on the spot.

Roasted, Herbed Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh or dried basil, oregano, and/or rosemary
  • Freshly minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie or baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Lay the cut tomatoes closely together with the cut side up on the sheet.
  4. Sprinkle the herbs and garlic and salt and pepper over the tomatoes.
  5. Dribble olive oil over the tomatoes.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes.
  7. Eat right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge, bringing them to room temperature before eating them.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.