This week is all about comfort food. I’m feeling a bit of the mid-summer burnout, and just wanted something sweet, warm, and satisfying. So with the relief from the past week’s blistering hot weather, I decided some baking and roasting was in order!
First I whipped up some quick-roasted cherry tomatoes. Last year I discovered the wonder of slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, but when I just need to have a delicious meal ready in no time, quick-roasted cherry tomatoes take the cake. These little gems of flavour get tossed in olive oil and spices, and roast for about 20-25 minutes until they’re scooped on top of pasta (or crusty bread) and enthusiastically
Next up was a bit of a twist on my usual spiced carrot muffins – tahini carrot muffins! They are just the perfect amount of sweet, and have a hint of orange. Next time I make these, I plan on adding little bits of crystallized ginger, since I did find I was missing some of the spice that usually comes along with carrot baked goods. Despite that, I was absolutely delighted with the result. These are a perfect cross between a dessert and a breakfast muffin – I enjoyed them whenever the heck I wanted, and I encourage you to do the same!
More Magnificent Meal Musings:
- Pizza with Grilled Zucchini, Basil, and Roasted Cherry Tomato
- Green Bean Curry
- Green Beans with Almond Pesto (another Smitten Kitchen inspiration!)
- Zucchini Quesadillas
- Roasted Zucchini and Tomato Tart
- Carrot, Tahini, and Roasted Chickpea Salad with Feta
- Frittata with Zucchini, Tomato, Green Beans, and Basil
- Lettuce Salad with a Basil Pesto Dressing
Quick Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Last year I discovered the beauty of slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, but on a weeknight when I just gotta eat NOW and still want deliciousness, quick-roasted cherry tomatoes more than satisfy. These beauties get tossed in olive oil and spices, get a quick roasting, and then slide on to the pasta in no more than 30 minutes. The roasting intensifies the sweetness of the tomatoes, and creates a sauce that is just bursting with flavour.
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2-3 small strips lemon peel
- 1-2 basil stems
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- coarse sea salt, to taste
- small handful torn basil leaves
Preheat oven to 425.
Rinse, de-stem, and pat dry the tomatoes. Toss in a bowl with remaining ingredients, except basil leaves.
Place ingredients in a cast iron pan, or baking sheet with sides.
Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway. Check on them towards the end – they should start to get jammy, but you want to be careful that the sugars and oil don't get burnt to the bottom of the pan. Once finished, remove the basil stem and lemon peel, and stir in the fresh basil leaves.
Serve immediately on pasta.
Carrot Tahini Muffins
These muffins are scrumptious. I know that I like carrot tahini salad, so I decided to give the same combination a try in baked goods! It does not disappoint – perfectly sweet, with a touch of orange, and a wonderful undertone of sesame. Try adding little bits of crystallized ginger for a bit of a kick! This recipe is (only very very slightly) adapted from the wonderful Deb Perlman of Smitten Kitchen.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk I used oat milk, and it was great!
- 1 teaspoon orange extract or vanilla, if you prefer
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cup packed coarsely grated carrots
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 tsp orange extract
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk olive oil, tahini and brown sugar together in the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, then buttermilk/milk-of-choice and vanilla. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda and salt, then switch to a spoon and stir in flour, then carrots, mixing just until combined.
Lightly grease muffin tins, or use liners. Fill each about 3/4 of the way with batter. Bake muffins for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the centre of each comes out clean. Let them cool in pan for 5 minutes on a rack before transferring them to the cooling rack to cool completely.
If you’d like to glaze your muffins, whisk powdered sugar, tahini and water together in a medium dish. Either drizzle this over the cooled muffins or dunk them into the bowl and twirl.