Incredibly sweet and intensely flavorful slow roasted tomatoes. A wonderfully tasty – and easy – method for transforming peak-season tomatoes (and even lackluster grocery store varieties) into a crave-worthy Summer condiment.
There we were, all excited for fall baking… but with a week-long stint of temps in the nineties, our new locale begged to differ. So while I still turned on the oven, I’m taking a brief departure from all things cinnamon-spiced, and celebrating the last of the Summer season with one of my very favorite sweet (and savory) treats: slow roasted tomatoes.
A long stint in a just warm oven caramelizes the natural sugar in the tomatoes, teasing out additional layers of flavor and sweetness, until the tomatoes become wonderfully jammy and intensely flavorful, and something so much greater than just tomatoes, olive oil, and salt.
It may be more method than recipe – and it’s a super simple one at that – but write this one down and put in your back pocket – you’ll want to squirrel these slow roasted tomatoes away, because they are out-of-this-world, addictively good. In everything.
Basically replace regular old tomatoes in just about any dish with these flavorful babes and you’ll seriously elevate your tomato – and cooking – game.
It’s hard to beat peak-season tomatoes, as is. Growing up, we plucked them straight off the tangly vines – cheerful red, orange, and yellow jewels bursting with summer flavor.
Don’t you wish someone would bottle that distinctively intoxicating smell of tomato vines and warm sunshine??
Admittedly, grocery store tomatoes can often be… lacking. But a couple of hours in a warm oven under a glossy sheen of olive oil makes magic, and can transform even the most stubbornly bland tomatoes. And for home-grown (and already perfect) tomatoes, the results are sweet, tangy, flavorful transcendence.
I love using these in tomato soup and Italian red sauces, or as a simple appetizer, topping toasted or grilled crostini with a few roasted tomatoes nestled atop a smear of goat cheese or ricotta. I may also have been known to simply eat them straight out of the jar…
While yes, this method will coax flavor out of the saddest of grocery store tomatoes, for pure, tomato bliss, start with the best tomatoes you can find.
Use a mix of cherry and grape tomatoes (as I did here), or a larger, full-bodied small to medium-sized variety such as plum or Campari – the oven time may vary a bit, but the results will be nonetheless delicious.
Then start down your list of ways to use these slow roasted tomatoes. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Make crostini! Top toasted or grilled bread with creamy goat cheese or ricotta, a few roasted tomatoes, and a drizzle of fresh pesto or good balsamic vinegar.
- Add these to your favorite pasta dish.
- Use in tomato soup! Jammy juices and all.
- Eat them straight off the sheet pan with a spoon.
- In grilled cheese!
- Or on top of homemade pizza.
- Did I mention devouring them straight off the sheet pan?
Or, if you’re feeling impatient and want to go the *quick* roasted tomato route – make this sauce. And then invite me over to share your spoils 😉
Originally posted August 19, 2012. Updated with new photos and recipe notes.