This is one of those moments when I feel compelled to make apologies about being a slacker and all around delinquent when it comes to blogging, but I promised myself I wouldn’t say something like “Sorry I haven’t posted in a while”. So I’m not going to say that even if I am a bum blogger.
Instead I am going to distract you with the perfect thing to have in your back pocket: roasted tomatoes. Well, you shouldn’t keep the actual tomatoes in your back pocket, that would be messy. What I mean to say is that this “recipe” for roasted tomatoes is great to have in your arsenal, especially as we head into fall and the tomatoes start to lose their summer glow.
It’s more of a technique really. Extremely easy and forgiving. I’m not even giving you precise measurements, but don’t be scared. I promise this is one of the easiest things you can do with your oven. And if you love tomatoes, it’s a must-try.
Start with some tomatoes. I’ve used cherry tomatoes and roma tomatoes. Roasting concentrates all of the tomato flavor, so romas are a great candidate since the ones at the grocery stores tend to be lacking in the flavor department… it’s a great way to trick the humble roma into being a rock star.
Wash the tomatoes and then cut them into halves or quarters. It doesn’t really matter, but for smaller tomatoes halves work best. For larger ones you decide how small you prefer your pieces.
Toss the tomatoes with olive oil, coarse salt (like kosher or sea salt) and black pepper. How much? It’s a matter of taste, really. But don’t go overboard on the salt because the flavors will be concentrated, including the salt.
Alternatively, you could line up your tomato pieces on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper there. I’ve done it both ways with equal success so again, it’s your choice.
Line up your tomatoes on baking sheets so that the cut parts face up. If you didn’t toss the tomatoes in oil, salt, and pepper, here’s your chance to sprinkle and drizzle away.
Put the baking sheets into a low oven (250 degrees) for 2-3 hours. The tomatoes will shrink by at least half. (for the cherry tomatoes I left them in for about 2 hours, for larger tomatoes I leave them in for 3 hours or possibly longer depending on shrinkage. But I stick to a minimum of 2 hours).
I don’t remember if I first read about roasted tomatoes in Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life or saw Ina Garten roast tomatoes on the Food Network. Either way, I’ve tinkered with the method for myself and have found that if you stay within reason, it is very forgiving.
Try roasted tomatoes anywhere you would use fresh tomatoes (sandwiches, salads, pasta), as part of a crudite platter or nosh station at a cocktail party, or in place of ketchup on a burger. One of my favorites? A roasted tomatoes and marinated feta panini… talk about flavor! Mmm.
They’ll keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Wash tomatoes and cut into halves (quarters for larger ones if you prefer).
- Toss tomatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet with cut sides up. (Optional: skip the tossing step, spread tomatoes onto a baking sheet. Then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper).
- Bake for 2-3 hours, or until the tomatoes have shriveled and shrunk to about half their original size.
- That’s it!