Slow Roasted Tomatoes

1 pint cherry (or grape) tomatoes
Pinch of fleur de sel or fine sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
1 or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme, optional
1 or 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled and smashed, optional
About 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat.

Cut the tomatoes in half – I cut cherry tomatoes horizontally (around their waists) and grape tomatoes from top to bottom – and place them cut-side up on the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle over the salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. There’s no need to use a lot of oil – just enough so that the tomato tops glisten.

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast the tomatoes for about 3 hours. When they’re done, the tomatoes will be shriveled and a little dry looking, but press them gently and you’ll see that they’ve still got some juice.

Use the tomatoes immediately or cool them on the baking sheet. If you don’t need them now, pack them in a jar along with the garlic and herbs, if you’ve used them, and cover them with good olive oil. Topped with oil, the tomatoes will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

In addition to pulling the tomatoes into service to give pasta a little more punch, put them and a little of their oil over chicken, salmon or tuna, steamed vegetables and anything else that needs a little color and an extra hit of flavor.

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