using up the harvest: baked cherry tomatoes and feta

September 9, 2012

I did it. I found a home for all our tomatoes – at least all our tomatoes so far.

We put in six tomato plants this year and somehow – they exploded.

The cherry tomato plants which were supposed to reach a maximum height of 6o inches – grew over the top of the fence – which is 8 feet tall. That’s 96 inches or almost 2 and 1/2 metres tall if you think in metric. They produced so many tomatoes that the ground below them is constantly littered and still I get a colander full each day.

The regular tomato plants, all picked out deliberately and carefully with much thought about their different attributes, (Early Girls, Beef Steaks, and a heritage variety supposed to be wonderful for cooking) all turned out to be exactly the same kind. They too produced prolifically and the plants are still hanging with green tomatoes.

For the past two months, I’ve made a concerted effort to eat, cook, and give away tomatoes. We’ve eaten tomato sandwiches, made spaghetti sauce for winter, and made my own oven-dried tomatoes. I’ve experimented with a whole load of recipes. But the single best tomato dish I’ve ever tried is this one – baked cherry tomatoes and feta.

I saw a baked tomato and chèvre dish on a local restaurant menu. I didn’t order it because I was already drowning in tomatoes at home and frankly needed a break from them. But the next night, I tried making my own version based on what I’d seen on the menu. I didn’t have any chèvre on hand but I had a tub of feta and it needed using. The first time I made it I served it for a light weeknight supper with just olive and rosemary sourdough bread. It would make a fantastic bruschetta topping and I imagine it would be amazing on a pizza crust too. This weekend I served it with salmon. It’s wonderfully and intensely flavourful and a perfect way to serve up cherry tomatoes, even if you’re not drowning in them.

Baked Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or not

200 grams feta, crumbled

10 spicy green olives, or use black olives, or whatever olives you like, pitted

handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 tsp. chilli flakes

ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a one-litre oven proof dish.

Sauté the onion in the olive oil until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and continue sautéing for another minute or two. Dump in the cherry tomatoes, olives, chilli flakes and crumbled feta. Transfer to an oven dish. Sprinkle with basil and black pepper. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve hot with crusty bread, etc.

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  • Reply Jennifer Smeltzer September 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Oh my goodness, this sounds deliicious….. cannot wait to try this one!
    Keep em coning Lindy, and I may never eat in a restaurant anytime soon…..

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 9, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      THANKS Jennifer! This is so seriously tasty. Think you’d love it. And I have surplus tomatoes….!

  • Reply Candy September 10, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Sounds delicious, my mouth is watering 🙂

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Candy – I LOVE your blog! It’s beautiful – one of my favourites. Thank you for finding me so that I could find you. What a treat to discover. Lindy

      • Reply Candy September 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

        What a nice thing to write 🙂 Thank you very much – I was very lucky to find your blog in the first place.

  • Reply Nancy Malachowski September 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Yummy – I do it on the bar-b-que (using tin foil) and grill egg plant alongside too. Then use it to make sandwiches, smear on toasted baguette.

  • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    that does sound yummy Nancy – I love eggplant. I’m coming to your place for dinner!

  • Reply An Embarrassment of Freedom October 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

    enjoying your blog…very creative food and tempting to try…

  • Reply Wendy Thornton October 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Lindy, Love your blog! Where did you buy your tomato plants? I had a few heritage plants that I bought at Tara’s and they were not prolific at all!

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Wendy – you’re so sweet. They were from the place up Hwy #15 – whose name escapes me – do you know the one? North of the 401. I still have tomatoes – it’s crazy!

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