Cherry tomatoes seem to have nine lives. They are great for salads, wonderful popped into stews and soups, and make great stuffed antipasto bites, and are fabulous as a side dish with leeks and thyme. Leeks (porri) were revered by the Romans, who ate them for health benefits. This is minimalist cooking — when a few choice ingredients combine to create something succulent.
1 medium leek
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound cherry tomatoes, rinsed
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Leeks tend to harbor a lot of dirt. Cut off the dark green tops and the root ends and discard them. Cut the leek lengthwise down the center. Rinse well under cold water. Dry and dice.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Stir in the leeks and cook until they are wilted. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and cook just until they begin to wrinkle and soften. Stir in the thyme, salt, and sugar and continue cooking for 2 or 3 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Variation: Sprinkle the mixture with toasted pine nuts or crumbled Gorgonzola dolce cheese before serving.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA PRONTO by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2005.
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