There are a lot of things I love to do with fresh tomatoes. I love fresh salsa, I love fresh tomato sauce, I’ve even recently gotten into canning. But one thing trumps them all: oven roasted tomatoes. If you have never had oven-roasted tomatoes, then you have no idea what you’re missing. It is one of the most heavenly things you can imagine! It’s something I look forward to every tomato season. And this is coming from someone who picks raw tomatoes out of her salad. It’s amazing what happens inside the oven- I don’t really know how to explain it, but Mr. Average Joe Tomato comes outta there like Mr. Hot Rock Star Tomato, and all it takes is some oil (like most great rock stars), some salt and pepper and a little heat. And some garlic, because well, everything is better with garlic. Promise me you’ll try this.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, tomatoes and garlic
A bunch of tomatoes, any variety
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Cracked Pepper
a bunch of garlic cloves
Preheat oven to 325
Cut your tomatoes. If you’re using small romas, just cut them in half. Anything larger, quarter them. Half Grape Tomatoes. Place tomatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil (enough to coat everything) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly toss together, coating everything.
Arrange tomatoes in a single layer, skins down, on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Mince garlic and sprinkle over tomatoes being careful to let most of it drop directly on the tomatoes . Optionally, you can also put whole cloves still in the skin right on the pan (like pictured below) but I definitely prefer it minced on top. Give it one more generous drizzle of olive oil.
Place in oven and cook for 2 1/2-3 hours, depending on the size of your tomatoes. It usually takes about 3 for romas that are halved. If you quarter them (the ones in my final picture are quartered) they’ll get done a little faster. You’ll want to just keep an eye on them after about 2 -2 1/2 hours. Your house will smell like heaven. Just take a peek through the window. You’ll see the juices have dried up and some of the tomatoes will start to get dark around the edges. Did I mention your house will smell like heaven?
When they’re done they’ll look like the pictures below. Kind of dried up, and blackened around the edges, but still soft. Eat one right away and see what I’m talking about. Amazing, right? I’m not joking. They’re amazing.
Now, what the heck do you do with them? Good question. Mostly I just eat them right off the pan. Seriously. But you can put them on sandwiches, on pasta, in panini, basically any way you’d use a normal tomato, or especially a sun-dried tomato. The flavor and texture is very similar to a sun-dried tomato, only waaaay better. You can also puree them in a food processor with those garlic cloves. You’ll end up with a great garlicky tomato paste. You can spread it on bread or add to any tomato based sauce or soup. You can also freeze it and use it all winter long. Just break off a chunk and add to anything. Or freeze in 1 T clumps so you’ll always have it measured out. The other day I toasted baguette slices and served them with a platter of roasted tomatoes, bacon, avocado, swiss cheese, etc. And we made yummy little open faced sandwiches. That would make an awesome appetizer as well.
For these little appetizers I put one pan of roasted tomatoes in the food processor with a handful of parmesan cheese and some extra virgin olive oil. They were DI-vine!