Lots of grape and/or cherry tomatoes? A great way to use them up before they go bad is to roast them with garlic and olive oil. All you need are tomatoes, olive oil and garlic cloves. However, we happen to have some organic garlic scapes on hand and decided to chop them up and add to the mix. Jammy describes the way these tomatoes collapse, thicken and sweeten when they’re roasted in the oven.
While exact measurements don’t make much of a difference, I sliced up just over a pound of multi-colored grape tomatoes, peeled and smashed about a head of garlic cloves, and chopped 6 garlic scapes. Then arranged in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, tossed with about 1/4 cup of good olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The pan went into a preheated 325° oven for 30 minutes, then tossed everything with a spatula and spread back into an even layer. After another 30 minutes in the oven, the pan was removed.
Let cool completely. You can store in an airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator, or use immediately as a spread on crusty bread, tossed with cooked pasta, or use as an accompaniment to fish, steak or chicken.
As a special treat, we spread some on thick focaccia slices, topped with shredded parm and put under the broiler for several minutes, then topped with a chiffonade of fresh basil from our garden. In a word, divine!
If you want an easy, yet different side dish, try this unique combination. The original recipe is listed below, although I made a few changes such as using pitted olives. I mean, who wants to stop after every bite and fish pits out of your mouth, especially in front of others! This allowed me to cut them in half before roasting.
With only two of us at the dinner table, I scaled back some on the amount of broccoli because it wouldn’t all fit on the baking sheet in one layer, and it just seemed excessive for the both of us.
Then when it comes to smashing the garlic together with the salt, it’s just easier with a mortar and pestle, if you happen to have one.
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment; set aside.
In a small bowl combine garlic and 1/2 tsp. of the kosher salt. Using the back of a spoon, muddle garlic and salt until garlic begins to release its oil. (Or use a mortar and pestle like I did.) Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in olive oil. Set aside.
Trim broccoli stems; cut stalks lengthwise into halves and/or quarters. Place in prepared baking pan. Pour garlic oil and olives over; toss well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Roast 20 to 25 minutes, tossing occasionally, until tender but al dente. Transfer to a serving dish.
To serve, sprinkle with flaked sea salt; drizzle with additional olive oil. Squeeze lemon juice over.
On vacation in Hilton Head in mid-September, and with plans to check out as many restaurants as the schedule would allow, we also anticipated dining in, at least a few evenings. The Hubs and I drove down with good friend Merry Sue (owner of the time share) which sported a modern, fully-equipped kitchen. As her guests, we promised to make dinner a couple of nights, although we had no pre-planned menus. (But we did intentionally schlepp down a few good knives 🙂 )
Lots of Shallots
It was unanimous that chicken be the star of dinner this particular night, so The Hubs began his search on several of our recipe faves and found this perfect gem, Baked Chicken with Herbs, Garlic & Shallots, on FineCooking.com. Because it consisted of few ingredients, a good thing when on vacation, and was simple in employment, the recipe fit our criteria to a tee.
For some strange reason the local supermarket carried only four whole chickens, so I bought the smallest at just over 4 1/2 pounds—which in hind sight worked out well because we all ADORED the finished dish, plus had leftovers for a tasty chicken salad for lunch the next day! This recipe is so easy to modify to your liking with different herbs, extra garlic, small onions, etc. If you prefer white or dark meat only, you could also substitute bone-in, skin-on split breasts or thighs.
I believe this will easily become a staple of our weeknight dinner repertoire. Vary the herbs as you like, but stick to the hardy ones—thyme, rosemary, sage, and oregano. They’ll roast without burning and have a stronger flavor.
Without a lot of staples at our disposal, we opted to go for a packaged rice dish and a simple side salad (the grape tomatoes we transported from our garden at home) to complete the meal. When we make this delicious dish again, I think we’ll go ahead and make the pan sauce to pair with some garlicky mashed potatoes to accompany the baked chicken. Mmmm-mm good!
Heat the oven to 425°F. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut away any excess fat and tuck the wings behind each breast.
Put the butter into a large, shallow baking pan (a 10-1/2×15-1/2-inch Pyrex pan is ideal for this). Put the pan into the oven while it’s heating. When the butter is melted (about 10 minutes), remove the pan and set it on a heatproof surface or on a couple of potholders. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and swirl the pan to coat the ingredients in the butter.
Dredge the chicken, skin side down, in the butter and herb mixture, and arrange, skin side up, in the pan. Sprinkle the chicken generously with the salt and pepper. Bake until the chicken is browned and cooked through, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve with the shallots and garlic along with a drizzle of the pan drippings.