Total Time: 30 Minutes; 10 minutes active
A cold front has been roaring through the Treasure Valley and everyone seems to be plucking all their tomatoes off the vines to save them from the fall frost. We’re going to teach you a way to extend the life of your precious cargo for a while longer, without the muss and fuss of canning.
Slow roasting tomatoes intensifies the flavors. Adding a touch of honey gives them that vine-ripened flavor while helping them caramelize in the oven. If you’re not using the roasted tomatoes right away, you can store them in a jar and refrigerate them for up to a month. It’s a simple process after cooking: layer the Romas in a clean glass jar, then cover them with olive oil before storing in the fridge. For extra flavor, you can infuse them with some garlic cloves and fresh herbs. These little nuggets of flavor also freeze really well by placing them single layer in a freezer bag. Oven roasted tomatoes are great for making your favorite winter your soups, stews, pasta, sauces, grilled cheeses, or Caprese. Picking fresh tomatoes off your vines might be over for the year, but it is possible to preserve the flavors of summer to last you through the winter.
3 lbs of Roma tomatoes (about 12)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (more if preserving)
1/2 tablespoon of honey
2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
(optional) fresh garlic cloves, fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash and clean tomatoes through and dry them with a kitchen towel.
With a pairing knife, score out the stem. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise (or quarters if they are large) and place them in a bowl.
Drizzle olive oil and honey over the tomatoes and toss gently to coat.
On a parchment-lined 18 X 13 rimmed baking sheet, arrange the tomatoes cut side up like little boats (this contains the juices while the tomatoes roast). Try not to have them touch to prevent them from sticking to each other. You may need more than one tray.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place the trays in the oven and bake for 2-3 hours, until the Romas dehydrate but the center is still jammy. If you have more than one pan in the oven at a time, be sure to rotate halfway through baking. Keep an eye on the edges—if they begin charring, reduce the heat to 275.
Allow to cool slightly and for the juices to congeal before serving.
Place tomatoes in a single layer in a freezer bag, then freeze. When making soups, stews, or sauces, use as much as you'd like for your recipes, keep what you don’t use frozen. The roasted tomatoes will keep in the freezer all winter long.
My favorite method is to pack the tomatoes in a clean wide-mouth jar.
For added flavor, toss in a few cloves of garlic, sprigs of thyme, rosemary, or oregano here and there between a few layers of the roasted tomatoes.
Top off with extra virgin olive oil, seal with a lid, and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Spoon out what you need, put the jar back in the fridge. This is my all-time favorite topping on a Margherita pizza.