Quick Bites from Pender

Slow Roasted Tomatoes – New Blog, Old Tricks

In Kitchen Tips, Recipes on November 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm

This is not a new idea – I know.  But we had such a bad summer for tomatoes on our little island, that there was very little opportunity to enjoy the intense sweetness of one picked fresh off the vine.  Even gifted gardeners (not me, but I try!) had poor crops this year.

So I’ve gone a little overboard for the past couple of months, buying those not-so-tasty-resource-hogging-hydroponic-hothouse tomatoes and slow roasting the hell out of them.  I really should stop, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it – I can bring robust flavour into even the sorriest excuse for a tomato.  Even unripe Mexican Romas would be no match.  (Although I’m happy to report I haven’t sunk that low yet.)

tomatoes, thmye and salt

My other reason for starting with this method is that I consider it to be a Foundational Recipe.  By that I mean one that is used as a base ingredient in any other number of dishes.  Italian dishes spring to mind immediately, but I also use roasted tomatoes in South Asian curries, French sauces, Greek moussakas, etc.

Eventually, I hope to present a number of recipes using these.  Check back and see if I’m all talk, or, well, you know.

Tips:

  • I use a ½ and ½ mix of olive and sunflower oil for drizzling and storing – I find the lighter taste nicer.  I also use this mix in salad dressings.
  • For longer storage, cover layers of roasted tomatoes with olive oil (and optional flavourings such as whole peeled garlic cloves, fresh bay or basil, star anise, etc).  Cover with a lid and store in the fridge.  That said, I find that even in our house of 2 these don’t last long.  They’re just so snacky!
  • You can use cherry tomatoes, but watch them very closely.  I prefer larger tomatoes for this method.
  • A toaster oven works well for doing a small batch.  Keep the heat low and watch them closely.
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