Ok before getting down to these tomatoes, I have a few orders of business to address. First of all: time planning? Not my thing. It’s so much not my thing that I don’t even know a real phrase to describe it (did I just make “time planning” up? It’s possible). You might have already figured this out by the fact that I started a blog, and then went on a 8 day (internet-less) vacation after two posts. Oops. I’ll try to keep things like that to a minimum.
Secondly: the photos. The subtle art of food photography is a new arena to me, and it definitely shows. I am pretty confident that the best way to improve is to practice, so I will stumble on. For example, in this post I learned that raw tomatoes are much prettier than cooked ones. An obvious, but valuable lesson. I also learned that I should never, ever photograph at night. You do not want to see those pictures. They were scary. It should also be mentioned that the only camera I have access to right now is a cell phone camera, which isn’t optimal quality. But they say the best camera is the one you have with you, so there you go.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk tomatoes. I absolutely love tomatoes. Tomato sauce was actually the first thing I ever learned to cook, something I’m sure we’ll get to that in a later post. But the tomatoes available in Paris in the winter really are mere shadows of their summertime relatives. That’s where slow roasting comes in.
The idea is by no means original, but it is a real winner. The low and slow treatment in the oven makes the tomatoes concentrate all of their goodness as much as possible. When they emerge, they’ll look like crinkly old man tomatoes. This is a good thing. They taste similar to sun-dried tomatoes, with the added benefit of being much cheaper. I used cherry tomatoes, but you can really use whatever you have about. Romas are nice as well.
You can use them chopped up, in a salad or in pasta. They’re also great on sandwiches, and when hot fromthe oven they’re irresistible as a snack. I like to do a big batch at the beginning of the week (or I used to before I moved into an apartment with an oven the size of a shoe box), and keep them in the fridge, covered in olive oil, for quick meals, one of which I plan to share with you tomorrow.
One last thing: be very careful with the seasoning. The name of the game is flavor concentration, which means a little salt goes a long way! Without further ado…
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Note: the cooking time will vary a lot depending on the size of your tomatoes, so keep an eye on them once they pass the hour mark.Obviously this recipes scales up and down really easily.
300g tomatoes (I used cherry)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your over to 150°C (300°F). If using cherry tomatoes, slice them in half (for larger ones, slice to a thickness of half an inch or 1.5cm). Mix with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Put them in the oven and let it do it’s thing. Mine took 1 hour 15 minutes, but it can be anywhere up to two hours