Slow-roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Slow-roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Preserving food at the end of Summer requires respect for tomorrow’s hunger. The effort of chopping up fruit, sterilising jars and dabbling in science to capture the sweetness of the season brings no immediate gratification. But when the chill of the evening air takes your breath away and the sun is keeping its distance, a twist of a lid to reveal a soft peach or sticky jam is heavenly.

This week I found myself with a tomato glut, ripe for my future cravings. 

Slow-roasted Cherry Tomatoes

A green-thumbed and generous friend gifted me three tomato seedlings as a housewarming present last year. It was  late in the planting season, but I found a spare bit of dirt behind a wall of lavender, popped them in and hoped for the best. The hardy little plants have not only survived the dry heat of Summer, they’ve thrived and are producing bright, juicy fruit faster than I can consume them.

Slow-roasted Cherry Tomatoes

I wanted to capture the sweetness of these perfectly formed beauties, so rather than breaking them down in a sauce, I opted for a long, slow roast in a low oven. The slow cooking dries out the tomatoes just enough to add texture but leaving them in the oven once it’s turned off allows the juices to collect with the tomatoes to maintain their sweetness. When you steal yourself a warm tomato from the tray you’ll get a burst of sweetness followed by a hint of vinegar, making you second guess whether you added some during cooking. The flavour is intense and uplifting.

Slow-roasted Cherry Tomatoes

A jar of slow-roasted tomatoes in the fridge is an excellent excuse for simple fare that needs one crowning ingredient. Add them to a bowl of pasta dressed in olive oil and black pepper. Scatter them over a quinoa salad with crumbled feta or stick a few in a toasted ham and cheese sandwich and appreciate the depth of flavour they add. I stirred a handful through a warm bowl of freshly-cooked white beans, tore some basil over the top and ate a bowl of comfort.

Oven-dried Tomatoes

Oven-dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

As many cherry tomatoes as you want (or that will fit on your oven trays)

A generous drizzle of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Fresh thyme, oregano or rosemary

Method

Heat oven to 150C/300F. Line an oven tray with baking paper.

Halve the tomatoes and arrange cut-side up in a single layer on the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Scatter a sprig or two of torn herbs over the top.

Place in the oven for an hour and a half to two hours (I like mine a tiny bit blackened). Turn off the oven and leave the tomatoes in the oven to cool.

Store covered in olive oil in an air-tight container and keep in the fridge.

 

Recipe from Frances Boswell, the lovely Chinese doctor I saw in New York.

28 thoughts on “Slow-roasted Cherry Tomatoes

    • Hi! If they’re in oil, they should keep for a few weeks. Honestly, mine have never lasted longer than a few days, but only because I eat them that fast.

  1. Roasting cherry tomatoes is easily one of my all-time favorite things about summer. I love reading your blog while in the states, the backwards seasons make me either nostalgic or excited :) I can’t wait for late summer tomatoes now!

  2. Thanks Amelia. This is very timely as I have an influx of tomatoes. Hoe long long do you think they will keep for?

  3. Awesome post Amelia. Your photos are beautiful, and may I compliment you on your writing too – that first paragraph is so evocative. It cast me straight back to my house-sharing years, when my flatmate’s dad would bring jars of preserved tomatoes and sauce over for us to use through Winter. My cherry tomato plant is quite pathetic at the moment. I’m tempted to buy them in bulk now, for slow-roasting!

  4. So lovely, this idea of thoughtfully preparing food for much later. It goes against all the mores of our fast-food, instant gratification age. Rohan at Whole Larder Love also wrote about “passata day” this week — I think you two could be pals, if you’re not already. (:

    • You’re so right Valerie. I love Rohan’s blog, his writing and photos are so beautiful. I’ve been eyeing off the new weekend courses he’s running. The accommodation he’s set up looks gorgeous. Maybe!

    • If I was to tell the whole truth, I may plant the seedlings, but I outsource the maintenance of them to my partner. I give his green thumb strong encouragement :)

  5. It always makes my day when I click through other blogger’s “liked this” section and stumble upon a great discovery! E.g. Simple Provisions.

    I heart slow roasted vegetables, always add a nice dimension to any dish. I think I’ll get on this ASAP! Thanks Amelia, woohoo! <3

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