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Slow roasted tomatoes

  • 26th Sep, 2006 at 12:25 AM


Roasted tomatoes
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

In supermarkets, you can now find sun-dried or oven-roasted tomatoes. These often sell in tiny little packages for ludicrous prices when really all they amount to are low-grade tomatoes dried into shoe leather. This is not very appealing to me.

Instead, you should make them at home. Although it takes a lot of time for them to be ready, you really don't have to pay attention to them. Just start them off in the morning and pull them out in the evening. Or, if you are adventurous, have them roast in your sleep.

You'll find that drying out the tomatoes concentrates their flavour beautifully. Unlike reducing them in a sauce, the flavours don't get destroyed in the slow heat. Which means that biting into one is like biting into summer all over again. Which is great, because tomatoes are plentiful in the summer and don't keep for very long.

I like to use these in sauces or soups. But you can squish them between two pieces of bread and have a very decadent sandwich.


Slow roasted tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 24 Roma tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. Try to find the ripest Roma tomatoes you can. They're the oval ones that Italian grandmothers make into tomato gravy because they have a good solids-to-liquids ratio. You are going to make something equally delicious. So pick through the tomatoes to find the best ones.
  2. When you get home, wash them thoroughly.
  3. Get a big cookie sheet. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and arrange them such that they all fit. Don't worry about cramming them in too much, they'll shrivel up and shrink.
  4. Splash olive oil freely over the tomatoes. Then season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Don't put in too much, as the flavours will intensify as the water evaporates.
  5. Stick them in the oven and turn the heat on as low as possible. Some people recommend using the pilot light in a gas stove, but I find that it doesn't get dry enough. So I set mine to 90°C.
  6. Leave them to roast for about 10 hours or so, rotating the tin about half-way through. You're looking for the tomatoes to shrink and concentrate their flavour. You don't want them drying into leather, you just want them to stop being wet.
  7. You should eat one and marvel at how tomatoey it is! It's so savoury, it's almost meaty. That's the umami you're tasting.
  8. When they're done, bring them out of the oven and let them cool. You can remove the skins, but I don't bother. Put them into very clean jars and stick them in the refrigerator. They should last about a week or so.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
girl_tm
26th Sep, 2006 05:19 (UTC)
Those are really good for sure, mmm!
valacosa
26th Sep, 2006 07:17 (UTC)
I'm thinking these would be great in greek salid.

mmmmmmmmmm

sfllaw
26th Sep, 2006 11:39 (UTC)
Yes, actually they would.
valacosa
26th Sep, 2006 14:00 (UTC)
Wow, it must have been late for me to misspell "salad".
glowingwhispers
26th Sep, 2006 07:43 (UTC)
I put garlic IN mine. But, then again, I also make my own croutons. :)
sfllaw
26th Sep, 2006 11:39 (UTC)
I find that these tomatoes can be used in dishes that aren't Italian, so don't warrant any garlic. Since garlic is so pungent, it can be added later with great effect.

P.S. I make my own croutons as well.
lautreamax
26th Sep, 2006 11:52 (UTC)
That looks delicious!

I have a few friends who consider themselves "foodies". The next time I hang out with them, I am tempted to invite you, as I'm starting to suspect you might be one of them.

Also, I wonder if you are familiar with this blog. One of the authors is a coworker of mine. Lots of recipes and tips on where to get the best food in Montreal.
makemyway
26th Sep, 2006 12:40 (UTC)
You can also freeze them, my family did this for a few years in massive quantities. Although, this changes the texture a bit, and I would probably make them a bit drier. Once frozen you can thaw and use them in sauce or dips. I agree with you about the garlic thing. You cold always marinate them at a later time as well.
One thing that a friend's mom used to do was keep a mason jar in her fridge with semidried tomatoes, goats cheese, rosemary sprig, filled with olive oil. This is to eat with Baguette or whatever. You really don't have to worry about things going off with this one. It's so good that it never lasts more then a few days. Simon, I'm having a full fridge problem here in Sendai, I've got to have some peope over, you are, of course, always welcome. Take care, I hope to see you at Christmas.
sfllaw
26th Sep, 2006 20:42 (UTC)
Hmm. I haven't got massive quantities of tomatoes. I sort of missed prime tomato season. Next year, though. Next year.
lola_joan
26th Sep, 2006 13:52 (UTC)
Would they last longer if you submerged them in oil, do you think? (But still refrigerated, of course.)
sfllaw
26th Sep, 2006 16:30 (UTC)
I'd be concerned about botulism with tomatoes in oil. These are cooked hot enough to kill the bacteria off.
dcoombs
26th Sep, 2006 19:02 (UTC)
Hooray for yum! We did something similar with the paste-tomatoes we grew, although we blanched the skins off first and also did use garlic. But they're super-good on croutons with goat cheese, or else placed on melted parmesan galettes.
sfllaw
27th Sep, 2006 02:48 (UTC)
I can imagine!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )