We think of tomatoes as a vegetable but botanically they're actually a fruit because they grow from the flower of a plant and contain seeds. In 1893, tomatoes were classified as a vegetable by the Supreme Court for purposes of tariffs and customs regulations. So it's legally official: tomatoes are a vegetable. And you thought SCOTUS didn't take on the big issues.
Roasting tomatoes is a great way to enjoy their summer bounty. This recipe, adapted from one of my favorite cooking blogs, Smitten Kitchen, combines roasted tomatoes with cannellini beans and fresh basil. It's low in calories and WW points; it's delicious and best of all, it's the epitome of summer dining. I've eaten it hot and at room temperature, alone and with bite-size cubes of grilled chicken. The possibilities are almost endless.
But wait, there's more! Forget the beans. Toss the roasted tomatoes with pasta and mozzarella balls. Or pasta with grilled shrimp. You can even gild the lily by serving the tomatoes (with or without the beans) as a topping for bruschetta. However you serve your roasted tomatoes, don't forget the all-important basil.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ripe grape tomatoes, halved
6 small garlic cloves, peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Red pepper flakes to taste (optional but why not?)
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Pour 1 Tbsp olive oil on the bottom of a 9 X 13-inch baking dish. Arrange tomatoes in the dish, cut side up. Nestle garlic cloves around the dish. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and optional red pepper flakes. Roast the tomatoes for 20 minutes, until everything is bubbly and juicy. Remove from the oven to a trivet and use a fork to lightly mash the tomatoes and garlic. They won't be fully soft yet. (Be careful when mashing as juicy tomatoes might burst.)
Add drained beans and more salt and pepper if needed and stir to combine. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil and scatter with basil.