Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

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Stewed tomatoes, an old-fashioned side dish, can be wonderful but are a little fussy to make. Instead, I begin with the ripest summer tomatoes, peeled or not (I usually don’t), and slow-roast them in olive oil perfumed with garlic and herbs. As they cook, their sweetness is concentrated. These tomatoes are wonderful served warm or at room temperature with grilled fish—no other sauce needed. I also like them cold the next day with a few slices of mozzarella, a dab of fresh ricotta, or some crumbled feta.

Ingredients

  • 6 large, ripe tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • A handful of basil leaves

Method

Heat the oven to 350°F. Core the tomatoes, cut them in half, and season the cut halves with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes cut side up in a shallow earthenware baking dish in one layer. Pour about 1 cup olive oil evenly over the tomato halves, and scatter the garlic and basil leaves over, tucking them in here and there. Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, basting with oil occasionally. The tomatoes should hold their shape, but barely. Leave them in the olive oil for 30 minutes before serving or let them cool to room temperature.