Roasting cherry tomatoes -- is this a crazy idea?
- yumyum Aug 14, 2006 01:32 PM
I found a thread on roasted plum tomatoes from 2005. Mark Bittman -- I'm linking below. I'm about to come into a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes (gorgeous yellow and red) and I'm wondering if doing this with small tomatoes is worth it? The skins on my tomatoes are tough this year and I need to do something with them to enjoye the flavor but soften up the texture. Other ideas if not this one? Thanks!
I do this all the time! Just put olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano/rosemary/herb of your choice in an oven-proof dish (I use an LC gratin) and stick in oven....15 mins or so at 375 does the trick...they'll be soft, the skin will just begin to crack, the flavor will be intense....
I did this a couple of weeks ago and the flavour was amazing. I did end up peeling the skins at the end of the process because they were very tough.
I did the long and slow method, about 1 1/2 hours and 150 degrees, the quick method would as above would certainly yield softer skins.
There's a very good recipe at Epicurious for Spicy Chicken with Marjoram and Roasted Tomatoes, link below, that is wonderful with grape tomatoes also...I usually add more garlic and red pepper flakes. It's also great with fresh basil if you don't have marjoram.
Roasting is good but oven dried cherry tomatos are even better in my opinion!
A glut of cherry tomatoes forces me to do this every summer. They are so sweet and delicious I am forced to sit on the porch and eat them like candy!
Just halve them and spread on a cookie sheet(s) put in the oven at about 250 degrees for about 2-3 hours. Don't pile them up since they wont dry properly. Just do one single layer. This depends on your oven and how juicy the tomatoes are. They will dry up like little raisins.
These are excellent in pastas, sprinkled over fish or salads, or you can just sit and eat them like I do. They also keep quite well either plain or you could cover them in oil and sneak in a couple garlic cloves for a nicely flavoured oil.
Cut 'em in half. If you find this tedious, find something else to think about while yer doin' it, or rock out/veg out/whatever out. Put 'em guts side up (skin down) on a wire rack above a sheet pan ('er cookie sheet with edges). Go long and slow with olive oil, salt and pepper. Leave 'em in a low 150 oven for a half day or more.
You can also build yerself a brick oven and fire it up at 500 plus degree and do this same thing quickly. Or in a regular oven too. Add some julienned spring onion or shallot, and maybe some vinegar. Use good olive oil. Let it get a wee bit charred. Heck you could even try pulling this one off with bread cubes (you might want to add 'em later), and make a roasted version of the ubiquitous (not a pirate word I know) panzanella, er.
P.S.: If you want a quicky technique for halving the little cherries read on... Never throw away a slightly dull serrated paring knife, cause that's what you'll need. Cradle about four to six of the wee ones at a time and slice 'em in half in your dainty palm. Resist the temptation to use a lot of down pressure or a radical sawing motion. This will result in tomatoes that aren't uniformly cut on the polar axis (esoteric non pirate term), but what the phoeey matey!
At dinner Saturday night we got to talking with our waitress (who happens to belong to the same organic co-op that we do) and she recommended roasting cherry tomatoes with some balsamic vinegar. Sounded like a good idea to me.
I roast some every week and they are very versatile. I toss whole tomatoes in olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Then roast at 425 until they burst. Remove from oven, cool slightly and stir in a bunch of shredded basil. Great as a side for meat, in salads, in frittata, pasta, etc.
So I did a batch last night. Tried the low and slow method -- 275 for two hours. Could have gone a little less time, but they turned out great. I halved the cherry and plum tomatoes and tossed them in a bit of olive oil. It was time consuming (I did around 3 cups of tomatoes in all) Tucked some fresh thyme around the jewels and roasted until the skin was blistered and charred in places (but sadly not more palatable). They have turned sugar sweet and concentrated and the olive oil they were in tastes great too. Enjoying some sprinkled over a tuna salad with arugula right now. I think I'm gonna try to puree the others, skins and all, and make an intense tomato coulis to go with chicken. I'm thinking I should strain it after I puree?