The other day I spent some time surfing other foodies’ blogs and found a wonderful recipe for roasted heirloom tomatoes on Amanda Darrach Filippone’s site Figs Olives Wine.
Last year I tasted some delicious homemade roasted tomatoes at a pot luck and have been wanting to roast my own ever since. Well, this weekend, I gave it a shot, and the result was so flavorful, it’s hard to describe. The depth of tomato flavor that comes through in the slow roasting process is amazing.
Marc said he wasn’t sure if this was a picture of a murder scene or roasted tomatoes, but I hope you get the idea.
As Amanda mentions in her article, the homemade roasting imparts sweetness without the cloying effect of store bought products. There is so much you can do with these. She suggests canning them to use for the next few months, but I just don’t think we can keep them around that long. They are that tasty.
We bought these assorted beauties from Lazaro at The Patch. He’s one of the local vendors at our Santa Rosa and Sebastopol markets. We used the whole lot as a fresh sauce with eggplant over pasta. I’ll include that recipe separately. I strayed a bit from Amanda’s recipe, so I’ll recount what I did, here.
“Recipe” for Slow Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes
5-6 hefty organic heirloom tomatoes (striped Germans, black prince, purple Cherokee: whatever looks good at the market or in your yard)
good olive oil for drizzling (again organic is, as usual, important)
salt and pepper
Preheat to 250 degrees
Cut tomatoes in half across the equator so all the seeds are exposed.
Set them on a sheet pan with a lip, or a glass/ceramic baking dish, since their liquid will come out during cooking. Drizzle the tomatoes generously with olive oil and salt them. You could add any fresh or dried herbs that catch you fancy, (basil, thyme, cilantro, sage) but I found them to be so flavorful, I wanted them by themselves.
It is really a slow roast, so you are going to put them in the bottom rack of the oven and let them roast for 4-7 hours. The time depends on how many tomatoes you use, how big they are and how juicy they are. I suppose you could roast them as long as you want or as short, to have a more or less juicy finished product. After, say, 2 or 3 hours, it would be a good idea to flip them. They are delicate, so handle them carefully, if you want them to hold their shape.
I took them out while they still had a decent amount of juice, but had browned and the sugars had caramelized. They would be great over pasta, bruschetta, in salsa, in chili…let your creativity guide you. I tend to let my food be a bit more rustic, so I left the seeds and skin on the tomatoes, but you could remove them if you prefer.