Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Taste of Summer: Roasted Tomatoes

“Tomorrow, I’m going improve the flavor of these winter tomatoes.”

I love tomatoes.  I generally eat seasonally, but I love tomatoes all year round, even when they aren’t in season.  Someday, I want to be the type of person who buys tons of tomatoes from the farmers market in the summer, processes and cans them, and has local tomatoes to use all year round.

I wrote that, and then realized that I am the type of person who would do that, I just haven’t gotten around to including it in my summer routine yet.

For now, my winter tomato consumption consists of store bought canned tomatoes and fresh tomatoes from Mexico.  But something about their journey from the tropics seems to diminish their flavor, making fresh tomatoes in winter a mere shadow of their summer selves. My boyfriend calls them “water-berries.”

Water berries, about to be magically transformed.
A decent solution to this problem is to roast them.  It concentrates the tomato flavor just enough, leaving you with yummy cooked tomatoes ready to use in recipes. I like the roasted tomatoes better than canned because they lack the metallic aftertaste of canned tomatoes.  Am I the only person who notices that? It cooks away after a bit in soups and sauces, but I’m fairly certain it isn’t a figment of my imagination.

This recipe is really a building block for other meals.  I combined these tomatoes with olives and capers and served them on pan fried chicken.  Additionally, they would be great on toasted bread, on sandwiches, or mixed with pasta or vegetables. Use them anywhere you would use raw tomatoes in summertime. Enjoy!

Roasted Tomatoes

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Toss tomatoes and garlic with enough olive oil so that they shine, and a big pinch of salt.  Spread out mixture on baking sheet or shallow baking dish.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until tomatoes are very soft. Cool slightly and remove garlic from peels.
Use immediately or store in the fridge in a jar, covered with additional olive oil.

Recipe Source: Directly inspired by “Slow Roasted Tomatoes” from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan

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