Sunday, July 11, 2010

Oven Roasted Tomatoes - better than candy!

As soon as tomatoes really start to go crazy at the market; I start making these oven roasted tomatoes. This weekend my favorite tomato grower Ed of The Peach Farm had just a few of these amazing Striped Roma tomatoes so I decided to do a small batch just to get my taste buds ready for the bounty to come. They are nothing like a typical dried tomato. They are still moist but sweet and a little spicy from the pepper with an intense tomato flavor. I have to eat a few right out of the oven as soon as they are cool enough. Actually, I have to stop myself from eating the whole sheet - they are like tomato candy! I'm planning on putting them on a sandwich today with a little pesto and some fresh mozzarella. When I do buy the whole box-full of them, I either put them in a jar (when cool) and cover with olive oil and refrigerate - they keep this way at least a month - or I lay them in one layer and freeze to put in soups or add to stews in the winter. I'm not going to give quantities, just use your judgement based on how many tomatoes you buy. At the market I get a big box and when I get home and pour them out and they fill my sink, I ask myself what was I thinking? It's good to get these in the oven and then get your pot of sauce going.

Oven Roasted Roma Tomatoes

plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
olive oil
maldon sea salt (these are really worth the price, it's a flaky grain used for finishing)
freshly ground pepper

On baking sheets lined with parchment paper, place all the tomatoes cut side up in one layer - can be close together as they do shrink. Then drizzle over the top olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and grind over the pepper. Bake in a 250 degree oven about 3-5 hours, depending on their size. You just want them to shrivel, put not get completely dry.

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