Some of you might’ve seen my Instagram snaps of the dinner I made for Joe and I last week on Valentine’s Day. This pic of the tomatoes I was slow roasting to go with our chicken got a lot of questions and comments, so I thought I’d share exactly how to do it, and why I love these tomatoes in particular.
Make no mistake — tomatoes are one of my favorite things to eat, raw, in sauce, or otherwise, but these oven roasted ones are simply divine. First of all, they go with everything. Really, everything. Put them in salads, add them to soup, deck out a sandwich with them, line an antipasto platter, serve them as a side to meat or seafood, mix them up with pasta. The options are truly endless. Second of all, they’re so easy to make. You just need to have a few hours of time to let them do their thing in the oven. And third, you can use basically any variety of tomato you want — vine, the little Campari ones, romas or plums.
Once you slow roast these for a few hours, the flavor is out of control good. Super concentrated tomato-y, and unbelievably sweet. The tomatoes also get so soft you can smear them around; you could even puree these and add to your basic marinara to amp it up a bit, or blend them in with regular hummus to flavor it. Like I said, the options are really endless! Here’s how to make it (good news — there’s really no set recipe!):
The main key with these tomatoes is to give them a bit of time in the oven. I’ve made these on weeknights when I’ve been pressed for time and roasted them at a higher temp for a shorter amount of time, and while it works and they’re still good, it’s nothing like slow roasting, which really concentrates the flavor.
SLOW ROASTED TOMATOES
6 vine tomatoes or roma tomatoes (or whatever small to medium tomato you can find)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Other seasoning ideas: balsamic vinegar, white wine, lemon, crushed red pepper flakes, fresh herbs (like thyme or basil), dried herbs (like herbes d’Provence), garlic powder, freshly chopped garlic, minced shallot.
Preheat your oven to 250ºF. Cut the tomatoes in half and with a spoon, gently remove the seeds but not too much of the core. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (there’s no exact amount here, just make sure each tomato has a little bit of oil gathered in the crevices), and season well with salt and pepper. If you’re using other seasonings, sprinkle on as much as you like (last Thursday for Valentine’s, I used a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes, herbes d’Provence, and a little sprinkle of garlic powder — highly recommended. They tasted awesome!).
Place the tomatoes in the oven and roast for 3 to 4 hours, until they’ve reduced in size and they smell very concentrated (your whole house will smell delicious!). Serve however you’d like, or chill for later use. These should last you maybe 4-5 days, no problem.