One of my favorite things to Roast during the summertime are some fresh, juicy, and plum tomatoes when they are freshly harvested. I still vividly smell how the air in the house is engulfed in a heavenly char, the sweet smell of the roasted tomatoes coming from the kitchen. Though nowadays tomatoes are widely available all year long; and you can also find canned tomato products off the shelf from your supermarket. But nothing can ever beat the flavor of fresh tomatoes that you find during the summer to early autumn period. So to enjoy that amazing sweet and sour flavor throughout the year is to roast them in the oven and preserve them to use whenever you like.
When we roast tomatoes the aim is to evaporate the moisture slowly from it, by doing so we intensify the umami-rich flavor of tomatoes, which gives a sweet, tangy flavor to any dish you add them to. Add them to a sandwich, salad, make a pesto or finely chop them and make a vinaigrette.
What we need to stress is the slow extraction of moisture which is the key for Slow Oven Roasted Tomatoes, rather than roasting them at a higher temperature. Most recipes for roasted tomatoes call for relatively high heat, which softens the tomatoes in about 30 minutes, but they do not draw out the moisture completely and you end with a less concentrated and more charred tomato. Though a slow roast is time-consuming, it is worth the time and effort to make the flavors rounded and concentrated that will help you make your food rich with umami flavors. The best part is you can make them in bulk and preserve it for later use whenever you like.
There are many different varieties of tomatoes that can be used to make roast depending on how and what flavor profile you want to have. I prefer using tomatoes which have balanced sweetness and acidity to it such as cocktail, grape, and Roma tomatoes (I usually add a pinch of sugar to even out the acidity). The one with less seed preserve well, but you can experiment with different varieties and see what you enjoy the most.
What To Do With Roasted Tomatoes
Here are some flavor pairings to use with Roasted Tomatoes
tomatoes + basil + garlic + tarragon
tomatoes + basil + garlic + olive oil + balsamic vinegar
tomatoes + basil + oregano + thyme
tomatoes + chile flakes + garlic + fennel
tomatoes + lemon basil
tomatoes + olive oil + balsamic vinegar
Slow Oven Roasted Tomatoes
- 12 Plum Cocktail, Grape or Roma Tomatoes
- 3 Cloves Garlic Finely Minced
- 1 1/2 Tsp Dry Basil
- 2 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
- 3 to 4 Tbsp Olive oil Additional for preservation
- Salt to taste
- Sugar (Optional; when using Roma Tomatoes)
- Preheat the oven at 100 C for 15 min, and mean time line up your baking tray with parchment paper. While the oven is being preheated, we will blanch the tomatoes to remove the skin. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice for an ice bath. In a large pot heat the water at around 92 C. (Make sure the water is not at a boiling temperature, which ends up overcooking the tomatoes are ruining the firm texture that we are looking for when roasting them)
- Using the tip of the paring knife, cut out the core of each of the tomatoes and score the bottom of the tomato with an X of each of them. Drop the tomatoes in the water and simmer them for a few seconds till the skin starts to pull away. The more ripe the tomatoes are the faster the skin will pull away
- When done remove the tomatoes using a slotted spoon and transfer them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Remove them from the water bath as soon as they are cool and peel the skin off using a pairing knife
- Cut the tomatoes lengthwise and then cut them again lengthwise into wedges. Remove the seeds and the core of the knife leaving behind only the flesh of the tomatoes. You can omit this step if you will be using the roasted tomatoes to make it into a sauce or soup
- Now line up the tomatoes on the baking tray and season them with a pinch of thyme, basil, minced garlic, salt, and sugar to each one of them. Lastly, drizzle each one with olive oil and put the baking tray in the oven a let it cook for approximately 5 to 6 hours until the tomatoes are shrunk and most of the moisture are removed
- Now you can use it immediately or can preserve once they are cooled down by transferring them into a container and top the tomatoes with olive oil to make sure they are submerged completely. It can be refrigerated for up to 10 days