Thursday, October 21, 2010

Last batch of tomatoes

I pulled our tomato plants out of the garden a couple of weeks ago, and we've been ripening the stragglers on the kitchen windowsill. Last night I roasted the last two panfuls to freeze for the winter.

This has been a terrible year for tomatoes here in Seattle. We had cool weather all summer, and I don't think we harvested our first ripe tomato until the first week of September. Fortunately it's been a bright, warm fall, so all was not lost. Even so, most of our crop this year--San Marzanos, Early Girls, and Fantastics--has been pretty insipid, mealy and flavorless.

Fortunately, a long roast in a slow oven cures that problem. I've been using a variation on this recipe. Since my roasted tomatoes are meant to be an ingredient in other recipes, rather than a dish in their own right, I cut the amount of olive oil way down and simplify the seasoning. But a pan full of still-warm tomatoes, seasoned with garlic and herbs and piled on toasted bread with goat cheese, makes a pretty good dinner too.

Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted from Cafe Lago via Bon Appetit and Molly Wizenberg

For each roasting pan full:

About 1 Tbsp olive oil, spread over bottom of pan.

Wash, trim, and seed the tomatoes. Arrange cut side up in bottom of pan.

Turn on oven to 275 F.

Sprinkle over another 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, fresh ground black pepper.

Optional: add 3 good-size cloves garlic, pressed, and 1 tsp oregano or Greek seasoning.

Bake 1 hour, turn with tongs, bake 1 more hour.

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