Monday, August 27, 2007

It's How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week! Make Some Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Red and Yellow TomatoesThis photo of the red and yellow tomatoes is actually a favorite picture I took last year, but it's perfect for now when I'm feeling the same pressure I feel every year around this time, when my garden starts bursting with tomatoes, and the short window to preserve them seems even shorter because I have to go back to work. I have both those kinds of tomatoes again this year, and right now I have to pick tomatoes almost daily to keep up. Recently I missed a couple of days picking, and when I finally picked tomatoes again I had nearly three grocery bags full. So you can see, using the tomatoes is serious business around here.

Since I've been growing a garden for so long, I have many favorite ways to use my garden tomatoes, including tricks for keeping that fresh-tomato flavor so I can enjoy it during the winter. All this week I'm going to share tomato recipes, some of my favorites I make every year, as well as a couple of new ones I've tried out recently. I'll come back each day and update this page, so eventually it will be a nice list of ideas for using garden tomatoes. Now, let's start the week out by making some Slow Roasted Tomatoes.

In August of 2006 I posted How to Make Slow Roasted Tomatoes, which is one of my most-read posts. You can click through to that if you want to see step-by-step photos of the process of making slow roasted tomatoes. I've already made a couple of batches this year, and nothing can compare to the way your house smells when the oven is full of tomatoes, slowly roasting and caramelizing. Slow roasted tomatoes taste like concentrated summer, and I love having them in the freezer to use all winter long.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes Kalyn's Way
(How to Make Slow Roasted Tomatoes originally published August 2006, recipe adapted from Alanna's master recipe)

Ingredients:
20 Roma type tomatoes (same size tomatoes are best if your garden cooperates)
2 T olive oil, plus a little to oil the pan if you don't have a mister
1 T ground fennel
2 T dried basil
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried majoram
(Any combination of herbs that appeals to you can be used.)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 250 F (about 9 hours roasting time) or 200 F (10-11 hours roasting time.) I used the shorter time, but mainly because my antique oven will not stay at 200 F.

Wash tomatoes, dry, and cut each tomato in half lengthwise, keeping the stem spot in one piece (to grab when peeling the tomatoes later.) Put tomatoes in a bowl and toss with olive oil and herbs.

Spray cookie sheet with olive oil mister (or brush very lightly with oil). Arrange tomatoes cut-side down on cookie sheet.

After about 8 hours, start checking tomatoes. They're done when skins puff up and tomatoes are reduced in size by at least half. It's a personal preference as to how dried you like them, and I prefer to cook mine until they look fairly dense, but still a tiny bit juicy.

These tomatoes have an intense tomato flavor that you probably can't get any other way. They can be eaten hot or cold. They freeze wonderfully to use all winter in soups, stews, and pasta sauces.

Printer Friendly Recipe

More Yummy Recipes with Slow Roasted Tomatoes:(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Slow Roasted Tomato Hummus
Slow Roasted Tomatoes from Kitchen Parade
Slow Roasted Tomatoes from Gastronomy Domine
Better Living Through Slow Roasting from Orangette
Slow Roasted Tomatoes from Stephen Cooks
Tomatoes Confites from Chocolate and Zucchini
Roasted Baby Roma Tomato and Fetta Tarts from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once
Tomato Confit from Chez Pim
Tomato Chutney from What Did You Eat
Pasta with Oven-Baked Herb Tomatoes from Lucullian Delights
Roasted Tomato Roundup from Swirling Notions
Slow Roasted Tomato Bruschetta and other links from The Perfect Pantry

More Ideas from How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week:
Day Two: Make a No Cook Pasta Sauce
Day Three: Make Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce
Day Four: Roasted Tomato, Italian Sausage, and Basil Sauce
(requires a food mill, no canned tomatoes used in this sauce)
Day Five: Kalyn's Favorite Summer Tomato Salads
Day Six: Chopped Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Mint, Feta, Lemon, and Thyme
Day Seven: Gazpacho, the Life Changing Summer Soupcounter customizable free hit

22 comments:

Lydia said...

Yup, I'm back in the kitchen making slow-roasted tomatoes, too! My sheet pans hold exactly five pounds of plum tomatoes, and there's a farm up the road that sells the meatiest plum tomatoes ever. I love having containers of these in my freezer to use throughout the winter.

Kelly Mahoney said...

Yum! This is going to be an exciting week then, I can't wait.

Ilva said...

I'm looking forward to the rest of this week, Kalyn! I better buy a 10 kilo box of tomatoes tomorrow so that I can keep up with you!

Anonymous said...

I picked 14 pounds of Romas last week and did this too. I always throw some unpeeled garlic cloves around the pan too, when they are about halfway done, and some fresh rosemary sprigs. If this smell were bottled, it would be my favorite perfume!

~ Peggasus

Sarah Caron said...

Hey Kalyn,

How do you use these? Like sundried tomatoes? I am really interested in trying them this year but like an idea of what to do with them first.

Thanks!

Andy said...

These look really great. I have a bunch of big meaty heirlooms, can I use those? Would I cut them in quarters or slow roast them longer? Thanks

Karina Allrich said...

Those are some voluptuous tomatoes! I need to slow roast some myself.

Happy Tomato Week!

christine (myplateoryours) said...

What a FABULOUS picture! You should frame it!

Kalyn said...

Lydia, sounds wonderful.

Kelly and Ilva, thanks. I had fun thinking of what to feature, and the new recipes I tried were great too!

Anonymous, I agree about the smell. Love the idea of the garlic too. (I do that for my roasted tomato sauce coming later this week.)

Sarah, there are some recipe links on the slow roasted tomato post. Basically you can use them in anything where you might use sun-dried tomatoes or canned tomatoes. I think they're great in soup or stew, and of course, pasta sauce.

Andy, you can use any type of tomatoes, but the meatier tomatoes are best. For heirlooms, I'd cut them in half top to bottom, and then maybe cut each half into four pieces if they're really big. They might take a bit longer to roast, since they have more water.

Karina, thanks. It's a happy time. (Well, except for the back to school part. That is always hard.)

Christine, thanks. It was one of the first weeks I had my new camera last summer. I do really like it myself.

farmgirl said...

I thought I recognized that gorgeous photo. Well worth repeating! ; )

candyschultz said...

Our favorite way is to just eat them with salt. My daughter this year invented a new salad (to us anyway) tomatoes, basil, baby lettuce from the garden with a balsamic-garlic vinaigrette. Delicious.

Christine said...

I just got back from our co-op with local, organically grown tomatoes - lots and lots of them. I must have been channeling you, Kalyn. It's tomato sauce week in my kitchen. I'll be checking back soon!

Amy said...

These look fabulous! A great way to store tomatoes in the freezer for the winter.

valentina said...

I have so many tomatoes in my kitchen at the moment..your blog as usual is great for all things vegetable. ; o )

katrina said...

i have kind of an odd question... do you have a gas oven? see i made slow roasted tomatoes last year i think... and the ended up tasting like GAS!!! they were needible... i dont know if it's just my oven, but i do a LOT of baking and its never happened before... has this ever happened to you?
thanks, katrina

Kalyn said...

Katrina, yes I do have a gas oven. I actually have one of those big antique stoves from the 1940's (people tell me it is worth a fair amount of money, but I don't know if I could ever sell it.) Anyway, this has never happened to me. Are you sure the oven stayed on all the time. Maybe you need to use a bit higher heat. I know my own oven will not stay at 200 F which is the temperature Alanna uses. I would definitely try again because these taste fantastic when they're done right.

The Culinary Chase said...

I absolutely love slow roasted tomatoes! They're so versatile & will go with practically anything you dish up (pizza's, salads, cold or hot pasta's, on top of hamburgers, bruschetta, chopped up in rice.....the list is endless!)

Anonymous said...

I did your slow-roasted tomatoes. They are awesome. Have you ever done this and removed the skins first? I couldn't get the skins off the ones I roasted so just froze them skin and all. I also did your "just tomatoes" Tomato Sauce. It was easier and great flavor and texture.

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, there's no reason you couldn't take the skins off first. I've had some where the skins come right off and some where they kind of stick, and I'm not sure what the difference is.

Mansi Desai said...

cool, i just posted an article on my blog about the health benefits of tomatoes!!:) I just love them, and being indian, most of our curries have tomatoes used liberally!!

I'll be checking your recipes too...

David said...

I make these with the not-so-wonderful tomatoes that are too-often available, and it works great. I add a few slices of garlic as well too. Fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing with me your so special recepies!!!

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