I know this is cliché, but it is always such a lovely surprise when something so simple can be so good. Today’s example? Slow roasted summer tomatoes.
When my grandfather and father came to visit me, driving down from Ohio, they brought a huge bag of tomatoes from my Uncle Joe’s garden shop. After weeks of great tomatoes from our own CSA, I was stumped at what I could possibly make with so many tomatoes. Gazpacho? Salsa? Then it hit me, shrink them down with a nice long slow roast in the oven.
I cut them in half or quarters, depending on size, and seeded them. Then I tossed them with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Cut side up on a cookie sheet, I roasted them over night at 175 degrees. In the morning, I turned them over and pulled off their skins. They were still a little too juicy and bright (I wanted dark red, caramelzed), so I turned up the oven for a bit to 250 and kept an eye on them. The last hour or so, I sprinkled some peeled, sliced garlic over to roast. I layered the finished product with olive oil and served them on toasted Italian bread from the farmers’ market. They are so good. They taste like the solid form of the “red sauce” my family makes, but sweeter.
The amazing thing is that this enormous bag of tomatoes cooked down to just a small container at the end. After we had a snack of bread and tomatoes, there was only a pint or so left, which made me sad. I am on a mission to get some cheaper, imperfect tomatoes at the farmers’ market so I can make a proper “big” batch of them for freezing. I wonder how many tomatoes I’d have to start with to actually make a big batch though….?