Over the last week, I harvested over a pound of beautiful tomatoes, and I want to preserve some of them for use later in the week. Ignoring the stifling summer heat, I turned on my oven to 225 degrees and roasted my tomatoes for about 2 hours, until they were shriveled up and their edges crinkly. I was rewarded for my long, hot and sweaty wait with the sweetest, and arguably, the most intense tomato flavor I have ever tasted. The slow roasting method really brought out the sweetness of the tomatoes, giving them a slightly caramelized, candy-like flavor. Imagine how good it would be to squeeze the roasted garlic on a piece of crusty bread with a spoonful of roasted tomatoes garnished with sprigs of thyme. Yummy!
Fresh, vine-ripened cherry tomatoes (or your favorite variety)
4 or 5 whole garlic cloves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, parsley, or oregano (optional)
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Rinse tomatoes, remove the stem and cut in half. If using larger tomatoes, core and cut into quarters. Place in a single layer in a roasting pan along with the whole cloves of garlic. Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Place in preheated oven and roast slowly for 2 hours. Roasting time will vary depending on tomato size. Halfway through the roasting time, sprinkle the fresh herbs on top of the tomatoes. Remove from oven when tomatoes have lightly crisped edges. Let cool and then in freezer bags. In the refrigerator, tomatoes will stay fresh for several days; frozen tomatoes will last 6-9 months.
Note: Store any remaining garlic-infused olive oil from sheet pan. Brush on sliced baguettes to make crostini or mix with balsamic vinegar and use as a dip for crusty bread.
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