In recent years we’ve seen a great variety of tomatoes available, no longer just big beefsteaks and plum tomatoes, but a range of sizes, shapes, and colors that are wonderful in countless different recipes.


For this easy, colorful side dish, small grape tomatoes are best. They are conveniently bite-sized, with a slightly firmer texture than cherry tomatoes, so they hold up well to pan frying.

If you can only find cherry tomatoes, be sure to sauté them for just a minute or so, to ensure that they hold their shape.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow or sweet onion, diced

5 cloves roasted garlic, with its roasting oil (recipe follows)

1½ pounds grape or cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

¼ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, chives and/or tarragon)


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion and roasted garlic and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until the onion is tender and aromatic (mash the garlic a bit to help break it up and distribute it evenly).

Add the tomatoes, parsley, and pepper flakes.

Increase the heat to medium-high and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until the tomatoes are heated through and you see that a handful of the tomatoes’ skins have begun to split.

Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle with the garlic oil, mixed herbs and salt.

Transfer to a warmed serving bowl or individual plates and serve immediately.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Set garlic cloves (or a whole head of garlic) on a piece of foil, drizze 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil over, and wrap securely in the foil.

Roast in a 375 degree oven until tender, 20 to 30 minutes depending on how much garlic you’ve roasting.

Let cool in the foil, then pinch the individual tender cloves from their skins.

Some recipes call for the roasting oil, or you can save it to use in a vinaigrette or to toss with steamed vegetables.