I have to tell you, I’ve been missing out all my life. See, I ate at Taphouse 41 in Sioux Falls 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. What was it? Was it a roasted pepper? Not quite. I wasn’t even sure! I had to pull out the menu to see, and it was a Slow Roasted Tomato.
Yep, a Slow Roasted Tomato. An Oven Roasted Tomato. Whaaaat? I’ve made oven roasted tomatoes in one variation or another for years, including my Oven Sun-Dried Tomatoes – and have never in my life had anything that tasted like this!
About Slow Roasted Tomatoes:
I tried a few recipes and finally winged it and couldn’t come close to the texture and taste. Tasting those tomatoes at Taphouse 41 was like putting on glasses for the first time and realizing that you were half blind, before. I was ruined for any other roasted tomatoes. I started searching in earnest on the net, trying to find some clue. Something, anything, that would let me recreate that first taste of utter deliciousness.
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 them 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 just ate them like candy!
What to Do with Your Slow Roasted Tomatoes:
Think about serving your Slow Roasted Tomatoes in a way that really highlights them. Try them on a simple baguette or a toasted crostini as is. Maybe drizzled with the juices or just a touch of balsamic, or just the teensiest drizzle of Simple Balsamic Reduction. Try, if you want something a bit fancier, spreading your bread with a little goat cheese or Ricotta and to kick it up another notch, 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 maybe you’d like to run them through a food mill and add cream for a tomato soup like another person suggested. Try them on pizza. 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.
My favorite way to serve Slow Roasted Tomatoes, though, is as a part of my Taphouse Salad. I posted it earlier this week and it is a beauty. Just FYI, there are quite a few components to that Taphouse Salad, which is named after Taphouse 41, a restaurant in Sioux Falls where I discovered that marvelous salad. The Slow Roasted Tomatoes are just one of those components. The Taphouse Salad also has beautiful greens, of course, and a Smashburger, Pan Roasted Mushrooms & Onions, apple, and goat cheese (or Brie) and is topped by a Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette. That vinaigrette is to die for and worth searching out the Sorghum.
Making Slow Roasted Tomatoes:
I’m going to varied the recipe, here, from that original recipe from Gourmet, just slightly 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 change up the garlic to garlic powder, so I can have that intensity that you just don’t get from the fresh garlic. I also remove the seeds from the tomatoes.
There are a lot of reviews on that original recipe and some people suggested variations included adding fresh chiles, hot pepper flakes or fresh basil to the recipe.
Saving Money on Slow Roasted Tomatoes:
I think it goes without saying that if you grow your own tomatoes, you’re going to beat out any grocery store tomato you can buy in flavor and price. Tomatoes are one of the items I grow in my own small little garden or in the past, on my deck; maybe you are searching for a recipe to use up an abundance of homegrown tomatoes (yeah, they come in at the end of the summer like wildfire in that hot August heat) but maybe, probably like most people, you just don’t happen to have home-grown tomatoes. And aren’t about to wait. I don’t blame you!
For great prices on tomatoes, check the farmer’s market if tomatoes are in season, check Aldi if you have one, and if you want to make a lot, maybe your buyer’s club will have them. But don’t be afraid to use any tomato, even grocery tomatoes if they’re on sale.
And don’t be afraid to make this recipe with even the dullest, off-season tomatoes, because this recipe for Slow Roasted Tomato will simply transform any old tomato into an absolute treat. It’s like magic the way a common tomato concentrates, intensifies, transforms using this 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.
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.