Oven-roasted tomatoes

If you were paying attention, you may have noticed my reference to “Oven-roasted tomatoes” in my blog post on Wedmesday–I said I’d do more on that later.  So now it’s later. :)

We had all these green tomatoes that we had to pick before they froze. So, taking the advice of a reader, I put them in a cardboard box in the basement.  I checked them every week or so (ok, once in a while I forgot) and brought the ripe ones upstairs to the kitchen.  Now, granted, I did lose a few to mold or rotting, but I figure the 50-or-so “extra” tomatoes we got to eat this fall were well worth the small extra effort.

Here are the few little soldiers I have left.

So, not being willing to let any of these treasures go to waste, I decided to try a recipe for oven-roasted tomatoes, thinking I could freeze them and just throw them into spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce later in the winter. The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Local Flavors, by Deborah Madison.

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
1.5 lbs paste tomatoes (I use any kind I have)
2-3 T olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 t chopped oregano, thyme, or marjoram (I use chopped fresh oregano and thyme together)
1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Oil a baking dish or sheet. Cut tomatoes in half (I scoop out some seeds if they have a lot). Put cut-side up in dish, brush top with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add herbs and garlic.

Bake uncovered for 2 hours.  Check after an hour and drizzle more oil on them if they look dry.

It makes delicious morsels of very concentrated tomato flavor–I think you could substitute these for sundried tomatoes in almost any recipe. I threw a few into my cabbage rolls on Saturday and they definitely contributed to the good flavor.

I can see myself using this recipe a lot in the future–any time I have extra tomatoes that I’m not sure I can use up in time.  So far they are keeping well in the refrigerator, but I think you could freeze them as well.

There’s just nothing like “real” tomatoes in the dead of winter. :)

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