Thursday, August 19, 2010

Alton Brown's Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Anna brought home a bounty of fast ripening tomatoes from the garden in Maine this week, that we really had no time to use before they would start to go soft. The solution? Slow roasted tomatoes... something we've done a bunch of times over the years, but that I've never blogged. You really only want to do in the height of tomato season when they're cheap... and it's especially appropriate if you have a garden producing so many tomatoes you've run out of ideas. We made the mistake of doing it in the middle of winter with supermarket tomatoes, and while it was still delicious, the cost was exorbitant and I felt a kind of stupid after. However, because we like this recipe so much, we now set aside some tomatoes for it every summer.

This works best with cherry tomatoes in my opinion, but you can also cut larger tomatoes into wedges or perhaps slices... though I think the skin is important and wouldn't want to minimize it. These are the measurements Alton Brown provided in I'm Just Here for the Food, but I wouldn't take them too literally... just as a starting point, that you adjust based on how many tomatoes you have and how big they are:

  • 20 ripe tomatoes, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, minced (oregano, sage, and rosemary is what I used)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature (170-200 degrees F).
  2. Get a baking sheet (preferably with a rack) and put all the tomatoes on it skin side down.
  3. Drizzle or brush the oil on them. Sprinkle with sugar, herbs, salt, pepper... in that order... though I imagine the fabric of space time will not rip if you change things up.
  4. Put the baking sheet into the oven for 10-12 hours. I prefer to put them in 7-8 ish and take them out before I go to work, but I know sleeping with the oven on freaks people out... so just do it on a lazy Sunday morning.
We usually make a tomato soup with them that I might blog later (also by Alton), but they are quite delicious on bruschetta... or really any dish you'd use sun dried tomatoes in. They're much more moist and deliciously flavored than any sun dried tomato I've ever had though, so you'd probably want to feature them more prominently. According to Brown they'll last about a month in the fridge or essentially forever if you freeze them.

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