I have to tell you, I’ve been missing out all my life. See, I ate at Taphouse 41 with my Dad and had a taste of his salad. (My “nod” to this salad, my Taphouse Salad was just posted.) Well, Dad handed me over a bit of something and said “try this!” It was a little smidge of something red – some sweet, salty intensely flavored deliciousness. Was it a roasted pepper? I wasn’t sure! I had to pull out the menu to see.
Oven Roasted Tomatoes. Whaaaat? I’ve made oven roasted tomatoes in one variation or another for years – and have never had anything like this! I tried a few recipes and finally winged it and couldn’t come close to the texture and taste. Tasting those tomatoes at Taproom 41 was like putting on glasses for the first time. I was ruined for any other roasted tomatoes. I started searching in earnest.
Finally, I came across this little recipe for Slow-Roasted Tomatoes on Epicurious, from the September 1999 Gourmet. Succulent, juicy and super concentrated, you’ll hardly recognize them as a tomato. Six to eight hours they cook! Yes, really, at 200 degrees. Worth it? You betcha! Even lackluster tomatoes are transformed, and what a way to capture summer’s bounty! Plus you can freeze and thaw them overnight, making all that time worthwhile.
The reviewers of the recipe raved: “Fabulous, easy, and makes those plastic winter plum tomatoes delicious; it’s like a miracle. Great stuff!” One gifted a friend with some – the friend reported she didn’t use them in a recipe, but ate them like candy!
Think about serving these on a simple baguette or a toasted crostini as is, perhaps drizzled with the juices or a little balsamic. Perhaps you’d like to spread the bread with a little goat cheese or Ricotta or finish with a few shards of Parmesan.
Another reviewer raved about a swordfish served with “overnight tomatoes” she’d had at a restaurant. Think about them in a recipe for pasta or perhaps running them through a food mill and adding cream for a tomato soup like another person suggested. Try them on pizza or in my Taphouse Salad, like I’m going to. Use them in just about any recipe where you might use Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Just make enough (they shrink) and try not to eat them all up like candy.
I’m going to vary the recipe, here, because I want more of the sweetness and intensity I tasted at the restaurant, although I admit, I haven’t tasted them side by side. I just know these are good! I’ll be adding a big drizzle of vinegar, a dash of sugar and changing up the garlic to garlic powder. I also remove the seeds. Other suggested variations included adding fresh chiles, hot pepper flakes or fresh basil to the recipe.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
- 4 pounds (about 20) plum or small tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds and stems removed
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus additional, if desired
- few grinds of pepper
- 1/3 cup Rice-Wine or other Vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 200°F. Line two rimmed trays with parchment or foil.
Put in tomatoes, cut sides up. Mix sugar, garlic powder, salt and add a few grinds of pepper. Sprinkle over the tomatoes. Drizzle first with vinegar and then with olive oil.
Roast in oven six to eight hours; tomatoes will be reduced in size but will retain their shape.
Cool tomatoes. Taste for salt.
- My photos, above, show 1/2 recipe.
- Try using a melon baller or a small scoop to remove the “innards.”
- Roasted tomatoes keep in an airtight container, chilled, 2 weeks.
- Bring to room temperature before using.
- May be frozen in bags or in containers between sheets of wax paper. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- One reviewer noted she made these with cherry tomatoes, left whole, others have used different tomatoes.
- Epicurious notes: “We loved these tomatoes after they were cooked for 6 hours. We served them on crusty bread with a little olive oil and thought they’d also work well as a side dish. But to toss with pasta, we wanted a more intense flavor, so we cooked them an additional 2 hours. They were perfect.”
- If you make smoothies, don’t toss the seeds and juices from these tomatoes. Save and add to your breakfast smoothie.
These tomatoes are just one component of my Taphouse Salad!
I’ll also be bringing these tomatoes to Fiesta Friday 91, put on by Angie of the Novice Gardener. The hosts this week are hosts this week are Juju @ cookingwithauntjuju and Indira @ I’ll Cook, You Wash.