Have you ever tried slow roasted tomatoes? Do you know how easy it is to do yourself? I tried it for the first time in 2014 and now will roast tomatoes whenever I find an abundance of vine ripened tomatoes during the summer. However, this technique will also bring out flavor that is often lacking in tomatoes during the winter months and makes a big difference if using tomatoes in the off season.
I’m not a huge fresh tomato fan, would never eat them as a child, and now put them sparingly on salads. My husband will eat them like an apple and loves tomato sandwiches. However, I LOVE dehydrated tomatoes and roasted tomatoes. The slow roasting and drying really brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and reduces the gel like texture of the seeds. Raw tomatoes are quite acidic but the roasting process, concentrates the natural sugars and reduces that acidic quality. bringing a depth of flavor and umami to your dishes.
For roasting tomatoes, pick tomatoes that are more fleshy like the Romas, Plumb or San Marzano. Once you have your tomatoes, wash and dry them and cut each tomato in half lengthwise. On a baking sheet, place the tomato halves, cut side facing up. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt, died thyme and oregano.
Then place the pan in a 300 degree oven on the middle rack. Bake for 90 minutes. If you’d like to continue cooking to dry out the tomatoes even more, turn down the heat to 250 degrees and cook for another hour. Roasted tomatoes will last for a week refrigerated or can be frozen and used later in soups, sauces and sautes for added flavor and umami.
Get creative and serve in various ways: on sandwiches or toast; in Eggless Quiche; chopped and stirred into hummus; sauteed with onion, garlic and peppers and added to pasta, as a topping for flatbread pizza or just as they are. I will often grab one as a snack right out of the fridge.
I hope you try it and let me know how you use them. It’s definitely a favorite when the tomatoes are abundant in summer.