I’m really open-minded about food.
I’ve eaten this, that and both of these (a few times). So it might surprise you that I find tomatoes to be pretty disgusting. I like tomato sauce, love pizza and ketchup has a permanent place in my condiment bar… but just the idea of biting into a beautiful cherry tomato makes me queasy. It’s part texture, part flavor. Maybe you like how they burst in your mouth, but yuck-yuck-yuck, ew-ew-ew!
Tomatoes are, supposedly, really delicious.
I wish I could get excited about them. I do think a beefy heirloom tomato fresh out of the garden is about as good as it gets, tomato-wise. I’ll tolerate them on a burger or in a BLT. Maybe a Caprese salad with fancy mozzarella, basil and balsamic. Sometimes I will stumble upon a really, really good end-of-the-season tomato and think to myself, “I get what the hullabaloo is all about!”
But in general, when I pick up my CSA, I’m all like, “what in the Sam Hill ammi gonna do with these tomatoes?” After trying them all sorts of ways (example: salads… where I literally just eat around them), I figured it out.
Roasting tomatoes is stupidly simple and turns these red and orange orbs into something worth raving about.
I should note: roasting tomatoes is more of an art than a science due to varying sizes of tomatoes. But even if you can’t boil water, your main challenge here is to not forget that you have tomatoes in the oven. Set a timer!
Oven Roasted Tomatoes Recipe
2 lbs tomatoes
Olive oil (about 3-4 T)
Freshly cracked pepper
* Optional: add chopped garlic, fresh oregano, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary… seriously, you cannot mess this up. I repeat: Cannot.
1. Pre-heat your oven to 200.
2. Meanwhile, slice up the tomatoes. Quarter of an inch should be good. You can leave cherry tomatoes whole. Place them in a single layer in a shallow baking sheet.
3. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Feel free to use your hands to make sure they’re coated; no one is watching.
4. Sprinkle the whole thing with salt and pepper. Please for the love, use Kosher or sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Treat your food with the respect it deserves.
5. Roast for 5 hours. Here’s where the art-not-science comes into play– you might need to go a little longer. If they’ve started to brown a bit on the edges, you’re going to be really happy with the result.
Now you’ve got a load of roasted tomatoes. What do you do with them? Ideas:
- Egg scramble with spinach, leeks, garlic and roasted tomatoes. Parmesan optional.
- Cauliflower rice with sauteed onions, zucchini and roasted tomatoes. Bonus points for toasted almonds added in at the last minute.
- Add them to a Greek salad. Or any salad.
- Eat them plain.
- Go all Marcella Hazan: Puree your now-roasted 2 lbs of tomatoes in a blender. Add the tomatoes to a large pot. Add an onion, sliced in half. Season with salt/pepper. Feel decadent? Add a half stick of butter. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes (or until it’s your desired consistency). Smash up big chunks of tomato as you go, remove onion before serving.
- Freeze them and break those puppies out mid-winter when all the tomatoes are absolute junk.
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How are you using up all these GD tomatoes? Share, please.