Slow roasted tomatoes

Are very nice indeed.

Red, ripe, sweetly fruity but nicely acidic small plum tomatoes, cut in two, sprinkled with salt, doused in extra virgin olive oil and roasted slowly, slowly….until they are withered and wrinkled, curly at the edges and sticky with intense tomato goodness.

See… I knew withered and wrinkled could be beautiful, when I get old I want to be a slow roasted tomato…

toms roasted 3

Yes, a slow roasted tomato squashed on some toasted bread which has been rubbed with garlic… with a bit more olive oil over the top for good measure.

After a meltingly hot August when just the mere thought of cranking up the oven  brought me out in a sweat, September breezes and pleasing showers means some low, slow roasting is possible. Good job too, the end of the tray of plum tomatoes was starting to look a little withered, neglected and in need of attention.

tray of toms

Attention they got, a good wash, a chop and a new coat of salt and olive oil and a long lazy 3 hour lounge in the oven at about 100°c/220F….

I know some people like to roast their tomatoes for hours, 5, 6, 8 even, this is good but different and I find such lengths leave the tomatoes rather too wrinkled and dehydrated for my liking, dried rather than roasted really. Once, I did leave a batch in for hours, they emerged with a not unpleasant, but rather challenging leathery chewyness which made me realise how much I like softness and creamyness of lesser roasted red thing, a thing with mashing and squashing qualities.

roast toms 1

At a very nice supper recently our friend roasted up a tray of these. No fancy plating or arranging was necessary (is it ever ?) she just brought the whole oven tray to the table along with some toasted bread, a peeled clove of garlic for each and everyone, a bottle of excellent olive oil and a jug of basil still on the stem. Thus followed a clattering of forks and hands as we all banged elbows and rubbed our toast with garlic, picked our roasted tomatoes straight from the tin, mashed them into the bread with the backs of our forks, ripped our basil leaves, poured our oil and constructed our own bruschetta. Some wise ones then mopped up the sticky juices from the bottom of the tin with more toast.

Still in squashing mode, a few roasted tomatoes with some goats cheese is good, on warm toast or in a sandwich,…..

Or they are nice in a salad, one with bitter leaves and some hot strips of bacon…….. or as dots of colour in a simple green one with parmesan…… if you squeeze the flesh out of the skin and mash it roughly with some more olive oil and ripped basil leaves you have a good and simple pasta sauce

……and I like them beside some toast, 2 fried eggs and a fat sausage for a kind of English breakfast, best eaten with the newspaper before you and a very strong cup of English breakfast tea beside you on Sunday at about 11.

roast toms 2

Slow roasted tomatoes

I do think plum tomatoes are better here as they have a sweet (but not too sweet)  mellow fruitiness which is balanced by a good acidity.

  • 30 small plum or cherry tomatoes
  • coarse sea salt such as Maldon
  • extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 100°C/220F

Wash, dry and cut each tomato in half and place them cut edge up on a baking tray.

Sprinkle with coarse salt you have rubbed between you fingertips.

Pour a thin stream of olive oil over the tomatoes making sure you coat (but don’t flood) each one, they tray and tomatoes should glisten with the oil not swim around in it.

Put on the middle shelf of the oven for 3 to 3 and a half hours.

Check, the tomatoes should be nearly half their original size, slightly wrinkled and curling up at the edges but still soft and moist in the center – taste one to see.

Best served at room temperature, will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days but remember to take them out of the fridge before you want to eat them as fridge cold kills the lovely flavours.

12 Comments

Filed under food, recipes, Uncategorized, vegetables

12 responses to “Slow roasted tomatoes

  1. HI RACH! We’re finally getting back to normal and i’m going to take some time today to catch up on everything i’ve missed over the month.

    you’ve got me salivating with more your words describing your love of slow roasted tomatoes over the pictures – you’ve given us verbal food porn! you dirty girl, you. lol.

    i want to smear some on a piece of the rustic loaf we just bought. oh my god this looks great.

  2. I just had the moments to sit down and read everything you’ve posted from Before I Go… on up.
    I love to read your words, to gaze longingly at your photographs, to fantasize of a simpler life abroad, and mostly, I love to prepare your recipes which can give me a realistic taste of your moments.

    Claudia and I are including the gorgeous dish of Piedmontese peppers as part of a lunch table at an upcoming event.

    Slow roasted tomatoes make a sublime rustic sauce for fish chopped coarse and combined with good oil, capers and briny olives, a little garlic.

    • rachel

      hello heidi, you see this is the kind of message which makes me very content….. do let me know about the rest of the lunch table and make me wish i was sitting at it.
      I like the sound of the rustic sauce for fish, but then I always do like your ideas.

  3. Ah! Thanks for the reminder to do this! Last year I forgot until it was almost too late, but there are still lots of nice tomatoes at our market, so this is definitely on my list for the week.

    Thank you, again, for the FABULOUS rome recommendations. We had a fun night at Pizzeria Ai Marmi and two great lunches at Enoteca Corsi.

  4. Cesta

    Sounds promisingly! I must try it. I like the Sunday English breakfast at 11ish.

  5. Lovely writing. I think I’d like to be a slow roasted tomato when I grow old too!

  6. I just roasted some tomatoes on Sunday. They were delicious…and now they are gone.

  7. I’ve been eating a nice jar of these that I roasted several days ago. I seem to be in the mood for at least a few, one way or another, each and every day. I roasted mine similar to your method, but at 200 degrees for about two hours and they are scrumptious.

  8. Such a fine line between “done” and “too done” when it comes to oven roasted tomatoes. I am not a fan at all of leathery tomatoes that have cooked too long, but I do enjoy the difference between roasting for 2 hours and almost 4. Beautiful post, as usual. I just jarred the last of the tomatoes from my garden, but will definitely get some from the market to roast.

  9. There’s nothing better. Ours are gone, but soon I’m going to buy a big box and get saucing… and hell yeah to the breakfast idea; tomatoes make the eggs happy.

  10. hello!
    i just polished off a jar of these, and am sad there are no more tomatoes around for us to make another batch.
    the shorter roast is definately the way to go, then straight from the oven on bread with ricotta. perfect.

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