Tomato Oil

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    2 cups

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Tomato oil makes a lovely accent in vinaigrettes that in turn can be used as sauces for grilled seafood, chicken, or vegetables. Tomato oil can also be used alone.


ripe red tomatoes 7 lb 3 kg
extra-virgin olive oil 2 cups 500 ml


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Wash the tomatoes, cut them in half crosswise, and squeeze out the seeds. Oil a heavy-bottomed roasting pan with 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of the olive oil and spread over the tomato halves, cut side down, in a single layer.
  2. Bake the tomatoes for 1½ to 2 hours, until the juices released by the tomatoes have evaporated into a small amount of syrupy liquid. Do not allow the liquid on the bottom of the pan to brown.
  3. Scrape the tomatoes into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the remaining olive oil. Cook over low heat (the tomatoes should slowly release small bubbles) for 1 to 1½ hours, until the bubbles dissipate and the tomatoes begin to darken very slightly. Be careful at this point not to burn the tomatoes or oil. Alternatively, to avoid overcooking, cook the roasted tomatoes and oil sous vide at 140°F (60°C) for 12 hours.
  4. Gently pour the ingredients in the pan into a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl and let drain, without pushing on the tomatoes, for about 1 hour. (The drained tomatoes can be worked through a food mill or strainer to eliminate peels; they make a delicious sauce.)
  5. Reserve the oil in a cool place for up to 2 weeks. If liquid settles to the bottom of the bottle, carefully transfer the oil to another bottle, leaving the liquid behind.