Summer is in full swing friends! Here in CA we had tomatoes two months ago hanging on between waterings and producing juicy, pop in your mouth-warm from the sun sweet cherry tomatoes. That is until we left for a week vacation and I made no plans for my tomato plants. It was a sad sight upon our return to find out what seven days of CA sunshine can do to precious plants. They were dead, dead, dead. I felt bad. Not only because I watered them daily then abandoned them completely but also because I had high hopes for those plants. I imagined eating fruit off the vine, using them in wholesome recipes, and using them as perfect photo subjects…Oh well. Good thing grocery stores have endless tomato supplies. In fact, for this recipe I splurged and bought a pound of the heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joe’s that were a variety of colors. So there’s my lemonade story. It all worked out in the end.
These heirloom tomatoes were so cool. There were yellow, red, pink, and almost black or dark purple. They provided a great color variation against the corn bread. A very colorful dish. Like any good tomato, it goes great with lots of fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil. So that’s just what I did.
A few weeks ago a roasted tomato recipe post came across my facebook feed and I thought, “Oh, I’ve gotta check that out…yum.” Well, about a month later after sitting on the idea and trying without success to find that post I decided to wing it. You know, the “unmeasured” part of me took over and is partially why I had to make this several times in order to actually write it down!
The best thing about this recipe is that you can make it completely how you like it. I love all chopped herbs and I had some sweet peppers which added lovely color and flavor. So basically, you roast tomatoes, veggies, lots of herbs and garlic in the oven until soft and then add them on top of your favorite corn bread recipe and bake (or grill) until the cornbread is cooked through. There’s so much room for customization here as long as you like cornbread. And really, who doesn’t like cornbread???
It really is a simple recipe that has a few steps in preparation but is such a crowd pleaser. I made it twice for separate friends and both times it was a highlight of the meal. Don’t be afraid to try it if you are short on a few ingredients. Use what you have and trust that you can create flavorful combinations.
As with most recipes, you’ll want to keep an eye on the baked veggies so you don’t overcook them. The type and size of the cut veggies will determine the amount of initial cook time. I cooked mine just enough to wilt the tomatoes and slightly soften the onions and peppers. A good determining factor is to also check your garlic. I used several cloves that I just sliced in half. My stomach isn’t a fan of raw garlic so I was sure those were soft before I added to my raw cornbread mixture.
So after the veggies have been roasted, add them to the cornbread. I wanted mine to be like flat bread to go as a side dish so I spread my cornbread batter in a greased cookie sheet. To the top I added the roasted veggies. I was careful to evenly distribute them and even pushed them a little into the batter so they would stick.
The result is a beautiful taste of summer. Although the tomatoes were not from my patio garden as I had hoped for, the result was a fresh bite of juicy roasted veggies with a rich garlicky herb accent. Again, this is a super easy recipe to adjust to your taste buds. This is a wonderful addition to any summer meal, picnic or BBQ. It tastes great warm or room temp. One of the times I even cooked it on the grill to keep the heat out of the kitchen. You know, because if you can’t stand the heat…
Anyway, try this recipe and let me know what variations you come up with. I could totally see adding some sort of protein to make a complete meal. So…many…choices!!!