The season of vine ripe tomatoes is coming to a close very soon, but for those of you that want to keep those luscious red gems alive all year long for sauces, stews and pastas – preserving is the thing to do. Preserving foods like tomatoes, doesn’t have to be a daunting task and roasting them, instead of the traditional preserving process is not only easy, but it gives the tomatoes depth of flavor.
Roasting tomatoes is a simple task and it adds richness to their already tangy taste. Slow roasting is an easy technique done right at home in your oven, and it only takes a few hours (all of it cooking time) and it slightly dehydrates the tomatoes, and releases a bit of their water content and concentrates the tomato taste.
If you grow your own tomatoes like me, and you find yourself with more tomatoes than you can physically eat in one or two meals, this preserving process is just for you. Not only will you have tomatoes ready-to-eat at your fingertips, but you don’t have to justify buying those bland red spheres in the off season.
I love to open a jar of these roasted tomatoes and toss them in warm pasta noodles with a bit of garlic or puree them up and create the most wonderful rustic sauce during the wintertime. Also, you can chop them up and add them to oils, spreads or dips for an easy and festive appetizer. I’m sure you will not run out of ideas on how to use them up.
25 Roma tomatoes
5 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 freezer jars or bags, found in hardware stores or online
(Makes about 3 1/2 Cups)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wash tomatoes and slice in half. Place tomatoes cut side up on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
2. Mince garlic and sprinkle it over sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle tomatoes with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
3. Drizzle tops of tomatoes with olive oil and place in oven to roast for 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
4. Remove tomatoes from oven and let cool to room temperature.
5. Stack tomatoes in 1 – 1 1/2 pint freezer jars or freezer bags. Fill each jar to top with olive oil to cover. Place jars in freezer until ready to use. Enjoy!