Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Tomatoes are like apples.  Okay--they're not like apples at all, but I love eating them like they are.  It's a quintessential summer moment, biting into a raw tomato that's fresh off the vine.  The only problem with this scenario (or at least blogging about it) is 1) October doesn't really qualify as summer, but hey, I live in San Diego so cut me some slack and 2) who reads a food blog to hear about how someone didn't cook tomatoes?  My autumn-themed solution to all this... slow roasted tomatoes.  Yummm.

Seeing as I live in an apartment with limited balcony sunshine, these beautiful homegrown tomatoes are courtesy of my friend Ali, whose husband is plant whisperer biologist and thus has the ultimate green thumb.  This is how I came to acquire a good two pounds of unbelievably sweet, perfect tomatoes. (Thanks Ali!!!)

My mom says it's a waste to cook homegrown tomatoes, and for the most part, I agree with her.  They just taste so good alone!  There's no way grocery-bought can even compare to homegrown.  Even Buddy, Mr. Veggies/Fruit-Hater (aka boyfriend), gobbled these up raw, and declared that these were special tomatoes.  Nevertheless, this recipe was begging to be made, so I fired up my oven and set to roasting them up.  These tomatoes were so sweet and delicious before cooking, that roasting them for hours only concentrated that flavor and made it even richer.  After eating these, there's no way I can call roasting fresh tomatoes a waste--it just tastes like pure decadence.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

tomatoes (small varieties like cherry, grape, etc.)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.  Cut tomatoes in half, cross-wise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, then sprinkle some salt and pepper (these won't need much since they're so flavorful on their own).  Roast for three hours, or until the tomatoes have shriveled on the outside, but are still a little juicy on the inside.  You'll have to adjust the time according to the size of your tomatoes, but don't worry, I encourage intermittent (and in my case, usually frequent) taste-testing.

You can refrigerate these up to a week to store, though I like to heat them up a little before eating again.  Here are some of my favorite ways to eat these warm:

-Spread whipped cream cheese on crackers, top with thinly sliced basil (chiffonade, if we're being fancy) and a roasted tomato!
-Brighten up a simple pasta by tossing with these roasted tomatoes.  Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper!

No "Total Recipe Cost" this time... after all, it wouldn't be very nice to rub it in that these delicious tomatoes were free for me.  :)  However, if you insist on a calculated cost, I'd estimate probably $2-3/pint of grape tomatoes at the supermarket.  But, considering that the oil, salt, and pepper are negligible costs, this is pretty cheap for some high-impact flavor!  


  1. Yummmmm! I always thought if you put a tomato in the oven for 3 hours then it would come out like a black golf ball. Although as long as I remember your oven is in Fahrenheit and mine is in Celsius then Ill be fine ;)


  2. hahah Derek you're silly. I love your comments. Thanks for still reading!! Though, how embarrassing to be revealed as the typical farenheit-centric American. Sadly, it's only from working in a lab that I have a good sense of the Celsius temps needed for basic refrigerator, basic freezer, liquid nitrogen, denaturing DNA, and starting/stopping enzyme reactions. Only partially useful for cooking...