Monday, August 29, 2011

Roasting Tomatoes: Why you MUST try them

Cherry Tomatoes

I've written about roasting tomatoes before, and I've even included some recipes that calls for roasted tomatoes, but this time I finally have some good photos and I'm going to show you exactly why you should make them.

You need to. For one thing, there are piles of these delicious babies all over the farmer's markets right now. Sure, they are about $4 a pint here which seems a bit expensive, but they are far worth it. I'd rather pay a little more for a tomato I'm going to actually eat than one that will sit and possibly rot on my counter (which happens with the bigger varieties)

You can, theoretically, roast plum tomatoes as well, but I prefer the cherry/grape ones. I think it's because the plum tomatoes still seem to retain some of their juiciness where as the little ones become a bit chewy and dry. I LOVE that.

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Take a pint of cherry/grape tomatoes and slice them in half. Toss with a little olive oil and arrange, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper.

Roast in a pre-heated 300 F oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. Keep an eye on them as they roast away so that they don't burn, but they will visibly dehydrate and become little chewy bits of goodness.

Now, all my cookbooks and even friends have different suggestions for how you should make these. Alexis says to try garlic infused olive oil and sprinkle on herbes de Provence. Heidi in Super Natural Everyday says that you can add a little maple syrup (about 1 tbsp). My Rebar cookbook suggests minced thyme or rosemary.

Close up Tomato

Whatever you choose to do, don't be afraid of roasting tomatoes. Play around with flavors and see what you like best. I like mine plain, mostly-with a little salt and cracked pepper, then tucked into a sandwich, a pasta salad, or even put on a pizza.

Yes! You can put them on a pizza after you've roasted them. Just use like any other topping, then cook the pizza. It's amazing. I promise.

If you aren't using them right away, I put them in a jar in the fridge. Drizzle a little oil over them and they will be like sundried tomatoes-a little more juicy than that first chewy dry bite when they come out of the oven, but just as good.

Roasted Tomato Pizza
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