Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Roasted Tomatoes

Before I retired three years ago, I owned my own cafe and catering business.  This recipe for Diane's Roasted Tomatoes was by far the most requested appetizer on our menu, bar none.  Using only a few key ingredients, it transforms the humble tomato into a deeply flavored, caramelized burst of flavor. 

Since retiring, my husband and I do a lot of entertaining and these tomatoes are a huge hit every time I serve them.  Even those who hate tomatoes (I still can't figure that one out) love these.  As a matter of fact, in the winter when grocery store tomatoes taste like cardboard, this is the only way I'll eat them (not store tomatoes!)  This recipe is easy and there are so many things you can do with the tomatoes once they are roasted.  It's also a great way to cook up a bumper crop of tomatoes from your garden.  They keep covered in the refrigerator for about 7-10 days.  I really hope you try this one.

The quantity of the ingredients listed depends on the number of tomatoes used:

Roma tomatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh or dried thyme (if using fresh, use more; if using dried, use less)
Good quality balsamic vinegar
Garlic, either thinly sliced or press through garlic press
Pinch of sugar

(These are some of my heirlooms, Specked Romas and Rutger's Red...beautiful eh? :)

Preheat oven to 325.

Prepare one or two large baking sheets by lining each with heavy duty foil.  It makes clean up *so* much easier.  Generously coat the bottom of each baking sheet with the olive oil.

Mix all ingredients (except the sugar) in large mixing bowl.  Slice tomatoes lengthwise (you can seed them if you like) and add to ingredients in bowl.  Toss well to coat tomatoes. 

Place tomatoes, cut side up, on baking sheet making sure not to crowd tomatoes.  It's sometimes best to use two baking sheets.  Using a spoon, drizzle all juices that are in the bottom of the bowl on top of each of the tomatoes, making sure to coat each tomato well.  Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top of each tomatoes and put a pinch of sugar on each tomato half.

Bake in 325 degree oven for 2 - 3 hours.  Begin checking after two hours and rotate pans once to ensure even cooking.  You want the tomatoes deeply colored and caramelized.  After 2 1/2 hours or so, shut the oven off and leave them in for another 30 minutes or so.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.  Place in large container and refrigerate.  Be sure to add all that good flavored oil that's on the bottom of the baking sheet to the storage container.  The tomatoes will last in the fridge for at least a week. 

Suggested uses:
~ place several cut up roasted tomatoes in large bowl; add hot pasta, fresh basil and freshly grated Parmigiano Regianno cheese; toss to coat and serve
~ layer any soft cheese (Brie, boursin, herbed cream cheese) on toasted baguette, top with roasted tomato slice and serve
~ add to soups for a great layer of flavor
~ add to any summer salad for a different twist
~add several cut up tomatoes to canned (rinsed) black beans, roasted corn that's been taken off the cob, lots of cilantro, chopped red or yellow peppers, cooked quinoa, fresh lime juice and zest and a little extra virgin olive oil for a light, delicious salad

As you can see, the possibilities are endless so try a batch and use your imagination :)


  1. Yaaaaayyyyyyy! I've been unable to open my copy of this recipe as my stupid Word trial period ran out, and I have not purchased a real copy... Yaaaaayyyyyy!

  2.'re so sweet! Why didn't you just email me and I could have copied and pasted it into an email! Anyway, I'm glad you've got it now :) Enjoy!