Slow roasted tomatoes with balsamic drizzle for a ‘meaty’ addition to pasta and whole grains.
This may not feel like much of a recipe to you, but this is one of my star kitchen staples these days. Frankly I need all the shortcuts I can find, with my time being gulped down by the gallon between remodeling a condo we recently bought a short brisk walk from Lake Tahoe, and packing to move to a much smaller home we’re buying just outside San Francisco. To be honest, it’s not that I might have some of my husband’s meat-centric dinner if I’m not organized. No, if I’m not prepared with a pantry of ingredients like these roasted tomatoes, I’ll be tempted to just have cookies for dinner.
Change is both exciting and sad. One part of me is brimming with anticipation of the new, my mind overflowing with ideas of how the furniture may (or may not) fit into our new digs. But there’s a strand of sadness woven into the excitement as my fingers relax their grip on a home full of memories. Change is inevitable.
I slow roast various foods year round, like these roasted tomatoes. I confess I even buy tomatoes out of season (please don’t hate me) specifically for roasting, as it’s a great way to use tomatoes that lack the in-season juiciness perfect for middle-of-August tomato sandwiches. I roast these beauties, all laid out basted in oil, in an oven using low heat for several hours.
While I do the laundry, putter in the garden, and paint the house, the tomatoes gradually thicken with intensified flavor. OK, maybe I don’t have time to paint the house while they’re roasting away, but you get the picture. The result is a hearty tomato-meatiness perfect for pizza, whole grains dishes, and bruschetta. I pack them in a container with fresh thyme twigs and additional olive oil, and put them in the refrigerator until I need them.
I roast my tomatoes for a long time at a low heat. It’s certainly possible to roast them for a shorter time at a higher heat, but the tomatoes don’t seem to thicken up in the same way for the meatiness I want.
The roasting time will vary, according to the juiciness of the tomatoes. I roast mine until they look like the photo: puckered and browned around the edges, the cavities still moist with a very small amount of liquid in them.
The balsamic drizzle is optional, but adds to the meaty, rich flavor I look for.
Here are some dishes to use these intense tomatoes in that you can find on my blog:
Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar
- 6 tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for storing
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 10 twigs fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 300˚ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash and dry the tomatoes, and slice them in half, horizontally. Lay them, face up, on the parchment paper. drizzle the oil over them, allowing oil to drizzle onto the parchment paper.
- Sprinkle the tomato halves with salt, pepper and dried thyme.
- Roast for 3 - 4 hours. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes, and allow to cool.
- Pack into a container and lay the fresh thyme twigs across them. Pour all of the excess oli from the parchment paper, now essentially a tomato oil, onto the top and add about 1 tablespoon of additional olive oil.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to one month. They can also be frozen for at least six months. They can probably be frozen for longer, but I haven't personally done it. I eat them up too fast. :-).