Caramelized Skillet Tomatoes

I’m a little ashamed.  It appears that in my quest to caramelize anything that sits still long enough, I have overlooked something that is obviously brilliant.  Dear readers, I owe you an apology.  I shouldn’t have quit while I was ahead.  I should have continued to caramelize until I had coated the entire world with a chewy-crispy-crust-of-goodness.  But you can rest assured that the caramelizing hiatus is over.

You accept my apology?  Great!  Okay, let’s talk tomatoes.  Skillet tomatoes.  Caramelized skillet tomatoes, to be precise.  Let me say that a little more slowly so that you can take it all in.  Caramelized.  Skillet.  Tomatoes.

It’s been awhile since I really cooked the way I used to before I fell into a funk this summer.  I used to get an idea in my head, rush to the kitchen, roll up my sleeves and COOK with a huge smile on my face as I imagined the beautiful dish, the rich flavors, that I was in the process of creating.  Sometimes it was something I dreamed up myself, other times the catalyst was a magazine like Bon Appetit or Martha Stewart Living.  I would cook with all of my senses, admiring the beautiful colors, listening to the sizzle on the stovetop, breathing in the heady aromas.  Certain things have transpired that stripped me of that joy, at least for a little while.  But with this dish, I finally felt like I was back.  I looked down at the tomatoes in my skillet and they looked like something I might see in the pages of a magazine.  (In person, that is – sorry about the camera flash.  You’ll just have to come over and have them with me and see for yourself how PRETTY.)

But enough about me.  Let’s talk about the tomatoes.  Grape tomatoes hold their shape, and the high heat imparts a beautiful golden crust.  And if you can believe it, they become even sweeter.  Add to the mix a generous sprinkling of kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, oregano and thyme and you have… well, you have a dish that I almost didn’t want to share with hubby.  But I did share with him, because I’m nice that way.  And now I’m sharing with you.

Caramelized Skillet Tomatoes

1 pint grape tomatoes
~1 teaspoon olive oil
~1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
~1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
~1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
~1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

(The symbol ~ indicates a precise measure.  Do as you see fit.)

  • Rinse and drain grape tomatoes, then slice in halves.
  • In a heavy aluminum or cast-iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add grape tomatoes to skillet and stir to completely coat with oil.  Turn heat up to medium-high and cook for 10-15 minutes, until tomatoes are softened and crusts have formed.  While tomatoes are cooking, stir often and scrape up brown bits.
  • Season with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and toss well.  Serve immediately on their as a side dish, or heap on top of ricotta-spread crostini… mmmmm.  (Or you could put them in the fridge.  I bet they’d be pretty darn good cold.)

Source: Covered In Flour

2 thoughts on “Caramelized Skillet Tomatoes

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