When we were deciding what tomatoes to plant this summer, I knew I wanted some romas.
Yes, we were definitely getting Cherokee Purples, Early Girls, Mr. Stripeys, German Pinks, and my newest favorite, the Hillbilly, a red and yellow striped heirloom from West Virginia.
But one thing was sure.
I wanted romas. And I wanted a few roma plants for one reason.
Slow roasted tomatoes.
After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for the fifth time and then reading A Homemade Life, I knew – right then – that I had to make some slow roasted tomatoes to put in the freezer for when we’re aching for them in December and January.
I have big plans to can this year, too. Diced tomatoes, tomato sauce…I can’t wait to see those ruby jars sitting on the shelf in the basement, waiting to be opened for the perfect meal and remind us of these long days of summer when the tomatoes were coming in by the pound.
But canning needs a lot of tomatoes, all at once. So until I have that amount from the garden, which – believe me – is coming soon, I’ll be making slow roasted roma tomatoes.
I think the best part about making these is that they’re practically hands off, needing just a bit of seasoning and 4-5 uninterrupted hours in a low oven.
Compared to canning, these are a no brainer.
And compared to your typical sundried tomato that is thin and hard and unjuicy (is that a word?), these are a big step up.
Slow roasting the tomatoes concentrates the sugary, rich flavor and the low oven temp helps the tomatoes keep their shape, instead of falling apart like they would do roasting in a hot oven.
Three batches done and I can’t wait to make more.
Tomatoes, slow roasted at their peak. Preserving that flavor of summer that can’t be replicated.
The bottoms of the tomatoes caramelize. The center is still juicy and tender. The skins just barely tighten around the edges, sealing in all the best things about these tomatoes that will be even better on a snowy day in winter.
On pizza. In pasta. Pureed into a sauce or soup. On a grilled cheese.
I’m not sure what all we’ll use these for. I’m just happy we have them, waiting on us, to brighten up a gray winter day.
Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes
Makes: 24 halves (feel free to make more or less, depending on how many tomatoes you have)
- 12 roma tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
- Remove the top of each tomato and cut in half, lengthwise.
- Lay tomato halves, cut side up, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper (and any other spices you might want).
- Roast in the oven 4-5 hours until the tomatoes are starting to dry on the top and they have shrunk 1/3-1/2 in size.
- Remove from oven and let the tomatoes cool completely.
- Place in a single layer in freezer safe bag. Freeze until ready to use. You could also freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet, then bag them or put them in a container once they’re frozen.
*A good friend (and serious gardener!) also told me that these tomatoes will last in the fridge for a few months if you put them in a jar and completely cover them with olive oil.