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…
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.
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.
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.
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.