the simple life January 17, 2008

Tomatotarragon Maybe it’s my intention (not resolution) to eat a little better this year than I did at the end of last year. It could also be my mild obsession with Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food, which I seem to look at everyday since I got it – more on that in another post. It could also be the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having here…until today. As I sit here writing this, the largest snowflakes I’ve ever seen are falling, which is a rarity in Atlanta. I don’t know what the reason is…but I’ve been craving tomatoes.

Although most tomatoes right now are incredibly dismal, the cherry tomatoes on the vine have been quite tasty – almost reminiscent of a real tomato! Wanting to make something quick that really highlighted their flavor, I quickly sauteed them with some garlic, a teensy bit of olive oil, and an herb I don’t normally cook with – tarragon. In some dishes, I find tarragon really overpowering. Here, however, it really highlighted the sweetness of the tomatoes. The olive oil and the juices from the tomatoes mingle to create a really nice sauce…which was perfect served with a piece of crispy grilled Ciabatta bread. Add this to a meal of roasted chicken and it’s the ideal side dish.

Sauteed Tomatoes with Tarragon – serves 4 as a side dish or appetizer

  • 1 package on-the-vine cherry tomatoes or 2 containers cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 stems tarragon – washed, dried, and roughly chopped
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ciabatta bread, cut into 3/4" slices and grilled or toasted (optional)

- In a medium saute pan, heat up extra virgin olive oil. Add garlic and saute but not until brown. Add cherry tomato halves until the skin begins to pucker and they are warmed through – about 4 to 5 minutes. Add lemon zest and tarragon and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Served immediately with or atop toasted bread, if you so choose.

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This is my entry for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this time by Rinku at Cooking in Westchester. This could easily be included in sections about tomatoes *and* tarragon. Thanks to Rinku for hosting…and to Kalyn, as usual, for this wonderful blog event!

Comments

David Jan 17, 2008 07:01 am

I’m in Atlanta too – where can you find the cherry tomatoes?

tami Jan 17, 2008 07:01 am

David-
I have been buying them at Publix. They come wrapped in red plastic netting to keep them on the vine all together. Most of the time, they are quite delicious. They also have the Amorosa variety there…which is much larger…but have good tomato taste!
- tami

David Jan 17, 2008 08:01 am

tami said “They also have the Amorosa variety there”
– I hated her on The Apprentice…I think I’ll stick with the cherrys :-)

hannehanne Jan 17, 2008 10:01 am

Oh, I love The Art of Simple Cooking. It’s so inspiring and so… good. And your tomatoes added a bit of sunniness to a dreary winter day. Thanks!

hannehanne Jan 17, 2008 10:01 am

Oh, I love The Art of Simple Cooking. It’s so inspiring and so… good. And your tomatoes added a bit of sunniness to a dreary winter day. Thanks!

David Jan 17, 2008 12:01 pm

I picked some of these on-the-vine cherry tomatoes up at Fresh Market today – the brand is Sweet Naturals, I think. Will try them out tonight!

clumsy Jan 17, 2008 01:01 pm

Beautiful photo! I think I’m going to have to break down and by the Alice Water’s book!

Hillary Jan 17, 2008 01:01 pm

I also love Alice’s book! And judging from your dish, I can tell she’s a great inspiration for you!

Brandon Winslow Jan 17, 2008 03:01 pm

That looks effing awesome! (the pic and the recipe)

daphne Jan 17, 2008 04:01 pm

nice! I love a simple yet bursting with flavours dish like this. Fresh and tasty-what more can we ask for?

Kalyn Jan 17, 2008 05:01 pm

The eat-local people are probably hating me, but I just bought some tomatoes at Costco. My theory on tomatoes in the winter is to smell them. If you can smell that tomato smell, they usually taste good enough to buy. I’m loving that book too! This sounds completely and totally delicious, and two of my favorites (tomatoes and tarragon) in the same dish!

Chuck Jan 18, 2008 12:01 am

I love simple recipes and Alice Waters, which reminds me that I need to go visit Chez Panisse. It’s been too long since my last visit.
Your sauteed tomatoes and tarragon look simply delicious!

Rowdy Jan 18, 2008 07:01 pm

Those are some pretty maters.
Alice Waters. My most memorable restaurant meal may be at the cafe above Chez Panisse.
Cheers

A scientist in the kitchen Jan 21, 2008 03:01 am

The tomatoes and tarragon look lovely, must be delish!

Laurie Constantino Jan 21, 2008 03:01 am

Tarragon and tomatoes are an interesting combination, but your lovely photograph sure make me want to try it!

Ulrike aka ostwestwind Jan 21, 2008 07:01 am

I can’t wait, that my tarragon is growing in the garden again. Thanks for sharing the recipe..

Peter Jan 21, 2008 07:01 am

Tami, great site, sexy photos, delicious cherry tomatoes!

Peter Jan 21, 2008 07:01 am

Tami, great site, sexy photos, delicious cherry tomatoes!

joey Jan 24, 2008 04:01 am

That’s a stunning photo! And the dish sounds lovely in its simplicity :)