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Roasted Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Clafoutis


I think if one is going to discuss tomatoes, the issue of classification (fruit or vegetable) should be cleared out of the way at the outset.

Botanically, tomatoes are indeed fruit. This is a fact of common knowledge, yet although people are quick to point it out, they hardly consider treating them as such. One would no more make a sweet and cinnamon-scented crisp out of tomatoes than they would stuff an apple with crumbs and top it with cheese. (Although come to think of it, either one might be quite tasty. I have, after all, discovered this year that tomato paste makes a more than suitable addition to a spicy Jewish apple cake, and I’ve for a long time added a spoonful to carrot cakes.)

And that’s because tomatoes are – ready for this? – vegetables. The term is purely culinary, referring to any plant whose fruit, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, leaves, or flower parts are used as food. So from a culinary standpoint, from the arena in which it matters (the kitchen), a tomato is a vegetable. But whatever you call it – I’m just happy that my plants are producing some.

(And in case you do get pulled into the fruit vs. vegetable debate, you can play the Supreme Court card: legally, tomatoes have been considered vegetables since the late 1800s when the US imposed tariff laws that included a duty on vegetables but not fruit, forcing the court to decide; furthermore, tomatoes are the state vegetable of New Jersey – 8,682,661 New Jerseyers can’t be wrong.)

So yes, it’s Tomato Week, the final installment of Summer Fest 2009, and I’m late to the party again – last week seemed to completely blow by without much more than roasted beans, let alone greens.

This week though, my tomato plants are bursting. Bursting! I no longer have tomato envy. I am the proud mama of two flourishing plants, picked up around May/June from Home Depot with high hopes and replanted (at about a foot tall) in the old double sink propped up against the fence and filled with dirt. They are now over-the-fence-high; over the summer as they grew I propped them up with bamboo sticks and chunks of hockey sticks, secured with twist ties, and maybe it’s all that Canadian karma, but it worked. One is heavy with cherry tomatoes, not all ripe at once but promising a tomato-heavy month; the other produced small “patio” tomatoes, sort of like a cross between a Roma and a regular beefsteak. They are still green, but they’re there. And there are lots of them. And I grew them. Or at least, didn’t kill them.

One of my favourite things to do to a cherry tomato is roast it; drizzle with oil, scatter with garlic and sprinkle with salt, then roast at 400F or so until they release their juices and shrivel, then start to get sticky, dark bits. There are so many things you can do with roasted tomatoes: scrape out of the pan onto hot pasta with crumbled feta or goat cheese and tear some fresh herbs over top; add chicken or veg stock and puree for roasted tomato soup (add a splash of cream at the end); scatter over pizza; or make a savoury clafoutis.

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Clafoutis

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August 18, 2009

A clafoutis is a baked French custard usually studded with cherries and sweetened with sugar; this one is savoury, but resembles the original with cherry tomatoes. Serve it warm or cold, in wedges. It's probably great as a sandwich, tucked between buttered toast.


1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes

2-3 garlic cloves, left whole

canola or olive oil, for cooking

salt and pepper

4 oz. soft goat cheese

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives, parsley or basil

3 large eggs

1 cup half & half

3 Tbsp. flour


1Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread the tomatoes and garlic in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil, salt and pepper, roll around to coat and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to shrivel and turn golden.

2Scrape into a pie plate or other shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Turn the oven down to 350F. Crumble over the goat cheese and sprinkle with chives.

3In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream and flour; pour over the tomatoes and cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and pale golden.

4 Serve immediately, wait until it cools to room temperature, or chill and serve cold.


A lot of tomatoes are finding their way into kitchens this week:

Margaret of A Way to Garden made some quick tomato sauce, ever so slowly; Matt of Matt Bites shows off his Tomato Top Ten. Shauna of Gluten Free Girl slices them up and makes a smoked salsa. Marilyn of Simmer Till Done made us an upside-down tomato-basil bread. Paige of The Sister Project simmered tomato soup. Jaden of Steamy Kitchen (thankfully!) made a Caprese salad with basil vinaigrette. And Diane and Todd of White on Rice Couple simmered some tomato jam – yum.

Check them out – Summer Fest 2009 – like summer itself – is coming to an end.

One Year Ago: Grilled Cheese with Elk Pepper Salami, Pickled Beet and Apple Salad


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22 comments on “Roasted Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Clafoutis

  1. Dana McCauley
    August 18, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Yummy! I could dig into this right now. Why am i here, thousands of miles away?

  2. Jaden
    August 19, 2009 at 4:54 am

    LOVE that photo with the roasted itty bitty tomatoes! Great shot girl!

  3. Nancy
    August 19, 2009 at 5:38 am

    MMMMM I think I will make this to take to the cottage this weekend!! Do you think it will travel fine to eat cold? Yum! Am also planning to make your tomato tarte tatin. Have told my children that “It’s August, we will eat corn on the cob and tomatoes every day, suck it up.” Love this month!

  4. Jennifer
    August 19, 2009 at 5:46 am

    The photos of your clafoutis and the roasted tomatoes are delectable. Oh great, now I have tomato envy!

  5. Jen C
    August 19, 2009 at 6:00 am

    I agree – the shot of the roasted tomatoes look amazing! I have a love/hate relationship with tomatoes…. they have to be cooked for me to eat them and if they are raw they make me gag! haaa. I wish I wasn’t that way but it’s a texture thing….
    The dish with the roasted tomatoes, hot pasta cheese, etc., sounds amazing – I’m going to have to try that.

  6. Fiona
    August 19, 2009 at 7:58 am

    I’m going to have to bookmark this post – I have three tomato plants outside my window that are going to tip over if everything keeps growing. So far I’ve harvested four from the Lemon Boy (yellow) plant and they’ve been fantastic.

    Re: the savoury apple thing. I came across a recipe for savoury apples with cheese in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I don’t know if it’s in the just plain Everything version of the book, but it sounds intriguing.

  7. Charmian Christie
    August 19, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Those roasted tomatoes look delicious. I love the endless variations this fruit/vegetable/food provides.

    I thought Summer Fest was a blast and think 4 weeks isn’t nearly long enough. We need to cover corn and squashes — at least. What do you say, Julie? Next Tuesday we tackle corn?

  8. Lana
    August 19, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Thank you for this recipe and the other ideas. My plants are as high as my shoulder altho still green. We have managed to find TWO red cherry tomatoes but the big ones are not quite ready yet. I’m going to have fried green tomatoes before it’s too late! Today we will have our first full garden dinner: new potatoes, yellow beans (going to roast as you suggest), beets and carrots. YUM!

  9. JulieVR
    August 19, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I’m always up for cooking with corn! and peppers are going to abound soon too!

  10. Paige Orloff
    August 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Have I mentioned this week how much I love your blog, and by logical extension, you? I love your blog, and by extension, you. Yours in foodie-ness, Paige

  11. Jan Yip
    August 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    That picture looks scrumptious! I’m going out to buy some cherry tomatoes tomorrow! But is there any other cheese I could substitute for goat? No one in this household likes it. Would mozzarella be too bland? Gruyere be too strong?

  12. JulieVR
    August 19, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Like a frittata – anything goes! You could leave the cheese out altogether, even. Feta?

  13. Big Girls, Small Kitchen
    August 20, 2009 at 3:20 am

    That’s great looking! I’d been making savory clafouti for a while last year, but they’d slipped my mind until just now. I think it’s because I was overdoing it on the fritattas…celeriac (http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2009/01/cooking-for-one-in-praise-of-um.html) and eggplant-chard (http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2009/08/recipe-flash-eggplant-chard-frittata.html). So thanks for the reminder…yum…

  14. Kate
    August 20, 2009 at 4:34 am

    We are tomato nude this year. There has been so much rain that many gardeners were forced to pull their plants due to Late Blight (Phytophthora infestans). Some friends patio containers were spared, possibly due to the drainage? Thankfully, store roasted cherry tomatoes are passable as homegrown. The clafouti shot is beautiful!
    And thank you for all the other tomato ideas. It’s nice to have cooking inspiration a blog post away 🙂

  15. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    August 20, 2009 at 4:36 am

    Thanks for the great looking recipe, Julie! My sister-in-law turned me on to a berry clafoutis for brunch one day and now I can let her taste this lovely creation. It will be a great excuse to use the cherry tomatoes that are growing like wild on our back deck. Cheers!

  16. foodcreate
    August 20, 2009 at 6:37 am

    Love your your blog ! I’m going to try make this meal tonight…

    thanks for sharing your recipe


    Have a wonderful Day !

  17. Ashley
    August 20, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Love this idea for a savoury clafoutis!

  18. Amy Green - Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free
    August 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I recently made a cherry clafoutis and love all types of fruit calfoutis but for some reason have never considered a veggie clafoutis.

    I love cherry clafoutis because the warm, whole cherries are just bursting with juice. (I do pit them with a cherry pitter but don’t cut them in half.) I am sure that they cherry tomatoes do just the same thing – I hate to admit it but I can taste it right now. I think this would make an excellent addition to a brunch.

  19. Sam@BingeNYC
    August 23, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I haven’t yet come across a savory clafoutis – brilliant! Yours looks SO good (as does almost anything combining carbs, homegrown tomatoes and goat cheese!)

  20. Its_Lily
    October 2, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I made this dish last night. Oh my gosh…..fabulous taste and so easy. Thank you for posting this recipe. It’s going into my ‘favorites’ cookbook.

  21. Laurie
    December 1, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I’ll just have to make it. I can’t abide cooked cherries (though I love them fresh off the tree) so I’ve never had clafoutis, though I’ve always thought they looked wonderfully tempting. I was considering making one with grapes, just to try it, but I’m going to try this instead. Thanks again, Julie.

    Of course, you knew that everything that bears seeds is a fruit, yes? Even melons!

    (Perhaps I should change my name to “Trouble Maker”)

  22. Susan
    August 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    I made this recipe tonight and it was great! The combination of the roasted tomatoes and goat chess was spectacular. It was so pretty I had to take a picture of it.

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