Sunday, July 12, 2009
Slow Roasting Tomatoes
I love to grow small tomatoes. I'm pretty sure jelly bean tomatoes are my favorite. Now there is a plant that just doesn't quit! I also like red pear and yellow pear tomatoes. Though red pear seems a little too susceptible to blossom end rot for my taste. I feed and feed and feed some more and they still remain calcium and magnesium deficient. Whatevs. Often, at this time of year I am faced with an abundant crop of small tomatoes. What does one do with so many little tomatoes besides eat them raw and in a nice pasta salad? Jonas and Greg can pack away quite a few of the little guys, but still we have a lot left over and there's no way I'm going to can them (can you imagine peeling all of those little things? I can, I did it once, four years ago. It's hell). What you can do with them is slow roast them. I initially got this idea from Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Something everyone should read. But I digress.
Slow roasting tomatoes is easy as pie! Basically you slice small tomatoes in half, spread them out, cut side up on a foil lined baking sheet, spray them with olive oil (or toss them in olive oil pre-spreading if you don't have a handy refillable oil sprayer), season and let them sit in a low oven (like 250-300 degrees) for a few hours until they shrink down. Check them every now and then to make sure they aren't charring, charred roasted tomatoes do not taste good. Learn from my mistakes. A properly roasted tomato should be very sweet and delicious. A poor-mans version (and a somewhat softer version) of those expensive sundried tomatoes.
I am very fond of roasting a whole bunch and then freezing them for later. They are delicious alone, or on a pizza, sometimes I throw a bunch of them in the food processor with some garlic, olive oil and maybe basil if it's in season and whip up a pesto (the pesto also freezes nicely.) If you do decide to freeze the pesto, freeze it in ice cube trays so that it's easier to portion out later and defrosts faster. But I've gotten off track. Honestly these tomatoes would make cardboard taste good. Try them, I guarantee you'll want to just eat the entire pan yourself. And you can, I mean, they're tomatoes, they're good for you:) Here'e what they look like all done.