Gently toasted pecans and fragrant herbs top roasted plum tomatoes for an unforgettable summer side dish. Pecans offer a sweet, buttery flavor that marries beautifully with the acidic, syrupy notes of roasted tomatoes. You can serve it on its own, with roasted or grilled meats, or over whipped ricotta cheese.
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Pecans are distinctly American food - the only major tree nut that's indigenous to North America. And they pair beautifully with sweet foods, which is why you'll find them in recipes like Maple Pecan Pie, Sprouted Einkorn Muffins or sugary pralines.
But there's a catch. If you only eat pecans as sweets, you're missing out. That's because they provide the perfect touch of delicately sweet crunch to balance savory foods, too.
It's here, partnered with tender roasted plum tomatoes touched by the faintest hint of caramelization, that they really come together. Their sweet, creamy notes find balance in fragrant chopped garlic, marjoram, and sage. And that makes them an excellent, savory topping that works well in place of bread crumbs and cheese.
In addition to their buttery flavor and crisp texture, pecans are a nutrient-dense food. They're a good source of fiber, thiamin, some minerals as well as monounsaturated fat.
- Pecans contain good fats. They're particularly rich in monounsaturated fat, which is the same kind of fat you find in avocados and olive oil.
- Pecans are one of the most nutrient-dense nuts. They also contain minerals like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Tips for Making this Recipe
There's no fancy equipment and no complicated instructions. Instead, you'll only need about 10 minutes of active time in the kitchen, a sharp knife, a spoon, a skillet, and a baking sheet. But there are a few things you might want to keep in mind.
- Scoop out the tomato seeds and jelly. Your tomatoes will roast faster and hold their form better. And you'll need a place to nestle all that garlicky pecan goodness.
- Handle the tomatoes gently. They'll be very tender when they're finished roasting, and you want them to cup the toasted pecans, so handle them carefully with a spoon when you lift them from the baking sheet to your serving dish.
- Switch up the herbs. Instead of marjoram and sage, you could also use rosemary, savory or tarragon, too.
- Toasting the pecans gives them flavor. But you'll want to watch the pan carefully, so you don't scorch them.
- Use fresh pecan pieces. They're less expensive and will save you time since they're already chopped.
How to Serve It
This dish makes an excellent side dish, but it's substantial and filling enough to be the focus of your meal, too. You can serve the roasted plum tomatoes and toasted pecans over whipped ricotta cheese, or as a side dish for roasted chicken or braised-steak.