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
fresh ground black pepper
- 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.
- 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.