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