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Need help slow roasting tomatoes with garlic!

This is going to perhaps sound amateurish, precisely because it is.

But I want to slow roast some cherry tomatoes cut in half for 2-3 hours on about 220.

Will adding a few garlic cloves in the roasting pan actually improve the flavor/aroma of the tomatoes or will it just improve the aroma of my home while they are cooking?

The only analogy I can think of is that the 'smoke' from a good BBQ obviously changes the flavor of the meat. But that's smoke. Anyways, I tried googling it but couldn't figure out.

I know the best way is to test it, but I'm also curious about the science of how.

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  1. Whole cloves will make the kitchen smell nice. Chopped garlic incorperated with the maters will result in a garlic tasting final product.

    1. IMO, those tomatoes will be dried up after 2-3 hours especially since they're going to be halved...please post how they turned out...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cherylptw

        Exactly... Like cherry tomato jerkey..

      2. I don't understand what you are trying to do. If you want to make dried tomatoes ( 2- 3 hours for cherry tomatoes) to store that way, that's one thing. But if you just want roasted tomatoes as a side vegetable, about 20 minutes will do it, just long enough to heat the tomato through so it doesn't fall apart or dry out. Just cut Romas in half and lay them in the pan next to your chicken or roast for the last 20 minutes. Or take larger round tomatoes, cut a tiny bit out around the stem, sprinkle in some rosemary, crumple up a saltine and put it in the hole where the stem was, and bake for maybe 45 minutes. 2 -3 hours is much too long for baking a tomato if you're planning to eat it as part of the meal.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Querencia

          Slow roasting develops a different flavor. Sure I could fast roast them and they would stay juicy. But I was going for a hybrid. It worked. The flavor is intense and they are still tomato like, not dried.

        2. I think cherry tomatoes are best roasted whole so they don't dry out, a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and at 350 or even 400, check at 30min or so. I like to add a branch of rosemary or thyme for "aroma" that i remove before eating. The garlic would be best either whole or semi-crushed so that the small bits don't burn. The finished tomatoes will be blistered some on the outside and then "pop" in your mouth.

          The long low slow roasting on halved cherry tomatoes will make very tiny very chewy dry tomatoes.
          Thick slices or halved roma tomatoes would do best at a longer low cooking temp as already mentioned.

          1. Are you following the Smitten kitchen recipe?

            I roast tomatoes a lot and I think they'll turn out ok at that time and temperature. Just keep an eye (and nose!) on them to make sure you don't over cook them.

            I don't think the whole cloves of garlic will do anything to flavor the tomatoes. They would have to be minced and tossed with the tomatoes for that to happen. If you want a few roasted garlic cloves for something, by all means, throw them in the pan. Otherwise, I'd skip it. ;)

            1. If you're using the smitten kitchen recipe, or one like it, I'd say that the main effect will be scent, because the garlic isn't actually touching the tomatoes.

              I do pan roasted whole cherry tomatoes with garlic chunks and orecchiette, where the garlic does really affect the flavour, but the garlic cloves are peeled and end up nicely browned and creamy, while the whole tomatoes eventually split their skins, releasing juice into the pan to blend with the garlic.

              1. I slow roast tomatoes all the time. Right now, I have a pan in the oven with a whole head of garlic. They'll be in for 1 1/2 hours total at 375. The garlic will be nice and squishy and roasted, and the tomatoes are vine tomatoes (so much larger than cherry).

                Usually I roast cherry or teardrop tomatoes. Cut in half, they shouldn't take quite as long as you posted, even at the lower temp. I would leave them whole if I were you. I will do them that way at 300 or 275 for an hour or more.

                I'd recommend cutting the top off a head of garlic and drizzling inside with some olive oil. Then wrap it up in aluminum foil and stick it in there with the tomatoes. After everything has roasted, squeeze out the garlic cloves and toss it all together.

                1. This was 220 after about 2 hours. The house did indeed smell amazing and garlicky. I'm not sure the garlic added to the tomatoes however. They are still a little juicy but also have the deeper flavor of a sun dried. I'll call it a success. Was just planning to add this to some chopped up avocodo, cilantro, corn, and dress it simply with olive oil and a little salt/pepper as a room temperature dish for tomorrow.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: vivaldi1

                    Great job at pushing the envelope - I love that. Did you slice up or mush the garlic, or leave them whole?

                    1. I love this one, with halved sungold tomatoes and crushed garlic.


                      1. It's possible the garlic will scorch, so I would do this. Place several cloves of peeled garlic in about a 1/2 cup of good-quality olive oil and slowly heat it over low heat until the oil becomes fragrant with the garlic. Discard the cloves and then drizzle the oil over the tomatoes, then roast them as you described. Or you could go ahead and roast the tomatoes and preserve them in the garlic-flavored oil in the refrigerator.

                        1. Vivaldi, I don't know about the science, but why not try this recipe just posted on the new COTM thread from David Leibovitz's new cookbook?

                          1. OK, I mashed up the slow roasted Garlic (that was just in the pan) with the tomatoes and a bag of thawed frozen trader joes organic sweet corn, and a healthy handful of chopped fresh cilantro, and a little more olive oil and an organic choped avocado. It is delicious. Slow roasting those tomatoes definitely developed a different flavor. Going to chill this over night in an air tight bag and serve tomorrow at room temp. Victory!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: vivaldi1

                              Looks and sounds yummy! What else are you serving....being nosey!