Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Pen and Palate Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

illustration: tram nguyen

 

I seriously debated writing this post, worried that it would be met with a collective duh and eye rolling.  Does everybody already know about slow-roasted tomatoes?

Am I, as usual late to the party, just as I was behind 99% of the western world in discovering the joys of such culinary delights as grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup?  Prior to last winter, for no good reason, I had written those things off as disgusting, despite never having consumed either one.

Slow-roasted tomatoes are stupidly easy to make, and so delicious.  The low, slow application of heat concentrates the jammy sweetness of the tomatoes, teasing out intense flavors from even a mediocre fruit.  The applications are endless and they are great on their own but my favorite way to eat these tomatoes is tossed in a simple pasta or smeared on a piece of bruschetta.

Before you balk at the cook time: no, that’s not a typo, I cooked these tomatoes for five hours.  But you only have to put in about five minutes of prep work and then you can stick them in the oven and walk away and forget about them for hours, until the sweet aroma of slow-roasted tomatoes fills your house.

SLOW-ROASTED TOMATOES

4 pounds of ripe tomatoes, I used a variety ranging from 2-4″ in diameter
2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt
Sugar

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Slice tomatoes in half and place on the baking sheet cut side up.  Drizzle olive oil and lightly dust cut tomato halves with salt and sugar.

Bake for about 5 hours, or until the tomatoes have dried a bit but are still juicy.  Keep covered in the fridge for up to four days. Eat with everything.

LINGUINE WITH SLOW-ROASTED TOMATOES

Makes 2 servings

8 oz. linguine
Extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
8 slow-roasted tomato halves
Parmigiano reggiano
1 tsp parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pasta pot half full with water to boil, add salt until it tastes like the ocean. Cook your pasta until it is al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.

In a large pan, sauté garlic in about 1 tbs of olive oil on medium heat until it starts to turn golden.  Add red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds more, and then add the tomatoes. Break up the tomatoes with a spatula or a wooden spoon. Season with a generous pinch of salt.  Add hot pasta and reserved pasta water and toss for another minute more.

Serve with grated parmesan, a light dusting of parsley, and a generous drizzle of olive oil.  Season to taste.

SLOW-ROASTED TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

Makes 2 Servings

2 slices of a nice crusty italian bread, about 3/4 inch think
1 clove of garlic, halved
Extra virgin olive oil
2 slow-roasted tomato halves
salt and pepper

Toast the bread and then rub the cut side of the garlic all over your toast.  Drizzle with olive oil and then smear a tomato half  on the bread.  Season to taste.

4 Comments Write a comment

  1. I think Ina has a short cook method where the seeds and juicy pulp are excavated prior to roasting to decrease the wateriness, and possibly the acidity as well?

  2. @Jon, thanks for the suggestion! Ina’s recipes are always foolproof, so I will have to check that one out. If you want to go in the opposite direction, Mario Batali has an even longer method, ten-hours to be exact for oven-dried tomatoes.

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