Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes


It takes a particular kind of lunacy to run the oven for 8 hours on an 85 degree summer day, but I guess that’s just the kind of crazy person I am. We’re at the height of late summer harvest – sweet corn, berries, peaches and tomatoes are all at their peak and prices are dropping at the farmer’s market.

I bought a little more than I could handle on Saturday, coming home with 20lbs of roma tomatoes. The price was right, and I really do need to start canning tomatoes for the winter…but I didn’t have time to devote a whole day to that enterprise this weekend. Instead, I made these slow-roasted roma tomatoes, a la Molly Wizenberg. They do require running the oven for 6-8 hours, but once they’re in there, you can pretty much go about your business and just set a timer for the end of the day. They don’t need you, so go outside with a tall glass of ice water and cool off while the kitchen heats up.

I promise you, these concentrated, almost jammy hemispheres of pure tomato goodness are worth the buckets of sweat mopped off my brow while they slowly roasted. The only problem with these is that 20lbs of tomatoes reduces to a seemingly paltry sum of dried tomatoes that are all too easy to pop into your mouth and you must stop yourself from eating them all so you can save some for winter. Freeze them in small bags so you can enjoy a burst of summer tomatoes when the snow flies in January.

Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes
From Molly Wizenberg, Orangette

A bucket of roma tomatoes
sea salt
ground coriander
fresh ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 225F on the convection setting if you have it. Wash the tomatoes, then slice off the stem end, then slice in half lengthwise. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets and sprinkle each tomato with a dash of coriander, sea salt and ground black pepper. Place the sheet pans in the oven (I did three sheet pans at once), and let them roast for 6-8 hours, until they are about half-way to completely dried out – still moist, pliable, and curling up at the edges. Allow them to cool, eat a few, then squirrel the rest away in the freezer for winter.
  2. Serving suggestions: Right out of the oven, pop a few straight into your mouth. Fantastic as a pizza topping (skip the sauce, you won’t need it), impress your friends and serve them atop a nice toast point with a drizzle of olive oil, or slice into ribbons and toss with freshly cooked pasta with garlic olive oil and parmesan.

16 thoughts on “Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes

  1. Ohh, I want! I want! They look and sound fabulous!

    I am also diggin’ the seasonal harvest. Sweet corn and peaches…yummy! It’s nearing my annual hike to MI for apple picking and I can’t wait. Fall fruits/veggies are definitely my favorite.🙂

    • They are fabulous, B! I seriously have to put them in the freezer right away, because they are too easy to just pop in your mouth, and then you’ve eaten half a tray…(not that I’ve done that before, oh no.) 😉

  2. ooh, I hear that!

    I made roasted cauliflower this week (I don’t really like cauliflower that much) for a healthy food and fitness challenge I’m doing with friends, and it was delicious. I seriously couldn’t stop eating it. I’m sure I ate 1/2 head of cauliflower in one sitting!

    • Roasted cauliflower is about the only way I’ll eat it – sprayed with a bit of garlic olive oil & dusted with curry & sea salt – not too shabby! I do tend to prefer roasted broccoli which has a lot more to offer, nutritionally.

  3. Oh, yum! I love your ingredients list – “a bucket of roma tomatoes.” I love late August tomatoes! Mine are finally just about ready to harvest.

    You mention lipped baking sheets – is there a lot of juice run-off that necessitates this? I only have one sheet with a lip – the others are all flat. I wouldn’t want to invest the time for just 1 sheet, but I could probably repurpose a standard 13×9 baking pan…

    • Crysta – you could definitely do these with a regular flat sheet pan too – they don’t ooze much, and by the time you take them out of the oven any juice has dried up. If your oven doesn’t heat evenly, you may need to rotate the pans, so watch for any juices then, but it’ll probably be just fine.

  4. I’m really thinking tomatoes are on the menu this weekend- these look delish. I noticed your comment about roasted cauliflower & instantly thought of my roasted brussels sprouts – I have to quickly step away from the pan when I make them otherwise too many of them end up in my tummy.🙂

    • Ooooooh, roasted brussel sprouts are one of my favorite fall treats – can’t wait until they show up at the farmer’s market! I know what you mean about too many of them ending up in your tummy before they hit the table!😀

      It’s going to be a tomato-tastic weekend here – doing my annual canning and may make another batch of the roasted romas too…the weather has finally cooled off in Chicago, so time to get in the kitchen and work!

    • Oooh, me too – I always leave them still a bit juicy in the middle – and well, this time especially, I wanted to turn that oven OFF asap, since it was 95 in my kitchen! LOL.

      Love Molly and love her for giving us these tomatoes!

    • I think I would still probably start the tomatoes in the oven to use higher heat to remove most of the juices…I’m afraid it might take days to do in the dehydrator, and the tomatoes might get a little “off” in the time that it may take. Definitely worth researching!

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