Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Roasted Tomatoes!

First of all, thanks so much to my 3 new followers! Hello!

This year, I had a definite tomato shortage. The 9 plants I planted decided it was too much work to make more then a few tomatoes. But, the tomato gods have been smiling on me! My very kind neighbor is swimming in lovely little roma tomatoes. She has given me free range to harvest to my hearts content. The plants are so happy I have been picking about 5 pounds every few days.

After one pot of sauce (which I shared with the neighbor) I started roasted batch after batch of tomato. Roasted concentrates the tomato flavor, making it sweeter and more, well, tomatoey. I roast them with a little olive oil and salt, but adding garlic, onions, or different spices would also be wonderful.

I have been freezing the batches of tomatoes in ziplock bags. This way I can pull out a handful whenever needed. I either defrost on the counter, or throw into the microwave for about 30 seconds. Throw these little babies onto of mashed potatoes, into a soup, on a cracker with goat cheese, or use them to make the best tomato sauce or tomato jam you have ever tasted!
(Tomato Jam recipe to follow!)

Roasted Tomatoes
Use smallish tomatoes with a low moisture content for the best roasting results. That said, this is also a great way to use up a bowl of cherry tomatoes when they are coming out your ears.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Cut tomatoes in half and spread up cut-side-up onto a baking sheet. (My brilliant friend suggests using parchment paper to make clean up easier. I am not this smart, sadly.)
2. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. I like to use kosher salt. If you are adding garlic cloves or other spices add these to the pan now
3. Roast for about an hour. Check on them after 45 minutes. If they are looking burnt turn down the heat to 250 degrees. When the tomato edges start to curl inward and look dry they are probably done. They should be the consistency of sun-dried tomatoes.

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