I got a little crazy picking tomatoes yesterday.
The funniest part about the whole thing is that I don’t even like fresh tomatoes, they have to be cooked within an inch of their lives or hidden in tomato sauce or something. but they’re just so pretty, I long to love eating them as much as I love having them in a bowl on the counter as decor.
One way that I will eat them though is slow roasted in the oven. Split in half and laid out on a cookie sheet in a low oven for long hours coaxes out all of the sugars, caramelizing them as the water slowly evaporates out of the tomato. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and spices makes them heavenly. While wonderful alone, they are unbelievable as a pizza topping (and make THE BEST margherita pizza you’ve ever had), they’re great chopped and mixed into quick breads, chopped or left whole and sprinkled on pasta, folded into an omelette or frittata, and they keep well in a jar in the fridge when topped with olive oil. And if you jar and oil them, consider making extras: they’re a beautiful hostess gift when you’re invited ’round for drinks or dinner.
Aromatic Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
From Cooking Light
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise (about 16 medium)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, tossing gently to coat. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Roast at 200° for 7 1/2 hours.
OK, but I cheat when I make them. I slice them in half, lay them out on a foil-lined cookie sheet, sprinkle them with all of the goodness, drizzle them with olive oil (and sometimes a little more than called for because who measures olive oil?). I also have roasted them at 225 for 5 hours instead of the 7 and a half, which makes them weeknight doable depending on when you get home. That said, they’re a great make-ahead item to wow your masses of hungry folks, just bring them to room temperature before serving.