Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    320 g

Appears in

Falling Cloudberries

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2004

  • About

These are an essential ingredient in my house. I would like to have a constant supply, but I don’t always get round to it. They are fabulous alone on bread; or with mozzarella and a little pesto; beautiful on pasta with their own oil; and can be added to any antipasto or meze platter. They are also good on hamburgers, and can even be added to a saucepan of pan-fried chicken escalopes at the last moment. They just wear a more elegant and tasty coat than the ordinary versatile tomato. Don’t worry too much about following the quantities and the first time you make them might be a bit stressful, but after a couple of times you’ll know exactly when to shift them around and when to take them out of the oven. To the oil, you can add a bay leaf, a rosemary branch, a couple of sprigs of thyme and a couple of cloves of garlic or whatever else you choose. Fresh basil, parsley and coriander (cilantro) might be best mixed through at the last moment. Here I have estimated very ripe, smallish tomatoes of about 70 g ( oz) each, just to give you a guideline.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) ripe tomatoes
  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Line a 35 cm (14 inch) baking tray with aluminium foil, then brush the foil with oil to prevent sticking.

Rinse the tomatoes, pat dry and cut in half from their tops down. Pack them very close together, seeded side up, on the foil. Scatter with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes or until you begin to notice them sizzling or colouring. Reduce the oven temperature to about 150°C (300°F/Gas 2) and bake for another 1½ hours or so, until they are golden around their rims and a little shrivelled, but not completely dried out. They should not be soggy and collapsed, but firm and less dry than the sun-dried tomatoes that we buy.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven in batches if necessary, leaving the underdone ones to roast a little longer. If you won’t be serving them immediately, leave them to cool completely, then transfer them to a container suitable for the fridge. Pour the oil over the top and add the garlic and any other seasonings you’re going to use. They will keep for a few days in the fridge. Add more oil if you like and then, when your tomatoes are used up, you can drizzle just the flavoured oil over pasta, rice, salad, bread or baked potatoes.