It is tomato time again and I am busy picking, sorting and processing these gorgeous fruits. It seems as if I eat tomatoes three times a day!! This is a recipe that I developed to use the surplus of cherry tomatoes from my garden. This is a very loose recipe-you can cut the tomatoes in half but I don’t bother. You can remove the seeds from the tomatoes and peppers if you like. I leave the cherry tomatoes whole and throw in a few plum tomatoes or peppers if they are ripe because I always cook with economy in mind. I will throw a stray or orphaned vegetable or fruit into something that I am preparing. Waste not Want not. Cooking with that philosophy brings me great satisfaction.
TIP: Some recipes for tomatoes call for the addition of sugar to round out the acidity. I use a few teaspoons of tomato paste instead. The tomato paste intensifies the flavour and adds sweetness and texture all at the same time. So if you are making for example bruschetta with tomatoes that are under ripe- a a few teaspoons to concentrate the flavour.
Consider this recipe as intense concentrated tomato essence. Roasting concentrates the flavours. You can use these roasted tomatoes on anything you like-the possibilities are endless.
You can make a small batch as you are roasting something else for dinner perhaps. Or you can prepare a large batch and preserve them in packages to use later. I suggest freezing or canning any leftovers to use in the winter for a taste of sunshine.
Knowing when they are ready is checking on the tomatoes as they roast and stirring them for even cooking. This recipe would also work in a slow cooker.
If you want a drier product you can vary the cooking method by baking the tomatoes at 225 degrees for 4 hours. I am too impatient for that but the results are delicious.
Oven Roasted Tomatoes
12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed or
2 lbs cherry tomatoes
1-2 jalapeño peppers cut in half (optional)
6 tablespoons fruity olive oil
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sprigs of fresh herbs: basil,thyme,rosemary
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, or cast iron skillet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper over the tomatoes. Add peppers if you choose.
Roast for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, stir the mixture and then decrease the temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting for another 20 minutes until the tomatoes are beginning to caramelize.
Remove from the oven and add fresh herbs such as basil, thyme or rosemary. Adjust seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Serve with pasta warm or in a pasta salad
Serve with baguette as a spread
- Puree and add to mayonnaise as a sauce
Serve heated on a baguette with grated cheese or goat’s cheese
- Serve at room temperature as a roasted tomato salad
- Use as topping for pizza or chicken Parmesan
Use in a grilled cheese sandwich
- Use in a baked macaroni gratin
- Add to sautéed shrimp or use on top of fish
Use on top of grilled chicken
- Add to stews or soups
- Make a soup and add sun dried tomato, Parmesan and pine nut pesto as a garnish