I don’t know what compelled me to buy tomatoes last week. I don’t particularly like tomatoes and in the dead of winter they have no taste. The container of cherry tomatoes has been sitting on my counter since last Thursday. I was going to trash them a couple of days ago but they were still firm and showed no sign of spoiling.
Today I received an email from NY Times Cooking which included a recipe for roasted tomatoes. Roasting the tomatoes sounded like a fine idea, but I didn’t follow that particular recipe. Instead I loosely followed Ina Garten’s recipe for Roasted Tomatoes with Basil (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics 2008), minus the basil as I didn’t have any.
This recipe is simple as all you need are tomatoes (any type), olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. I added minced garlic but you certainly don’t need to.
Ina Garten provides exact measurements but I didn’t bother to measure any of the ingredients. Just be sure that every tomato gets a drizzle or sprinkle of each ingredient. If you don’t have aged balsamic, don’t fret. Just sprinkle a little extra sugar. There is some debate whether to scoop out the seeds or leave them in. I used large cherry tomatoes and decided to leave in the seeds. However, if I were to use larger tomatoes such as plum or beefsteak, I would remove the seeds. Decide what works best for you.
So now I have delicious, sweet caramelized roasted tomatoes that I can’t stop eating. What to do with them? Tonight, I used them as a topping on homemade pizza instead of using a tomato-based sauce. With the leftover roasted tomatoes, I may add them to a salad with a soft-boiled egg, green olives, tuna, lemon zest and pesto (I have some in the freezer) as a dressing. Or, I could instead use them on crostini with ricotta and pesto. Or, toss them with pasta, a drizzle of olive oil and top with grated parmesan cheese. The possibilities seem endless.
Roasted Tomatoes. Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe for Roasted Tomatoes with Basil (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics 2008). This is a delicious way to enjoy tomatoes, especially when they are not in season.
Prep time – 10 minutes; Cook time – 25 minutes
- 1 pound tomatoes, any variety; seeded or seeds left in
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- Granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place on a half sheet pan or baking sheet. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Sprinkle on garlic (if using), sugar, salt and pepper, to taste
- Roast until caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes. Don’t worry if they look burned. The burned stuff stays on the pan.
- Remove from oven. Use a spatula to gently lift the tomatoes. Enjoy!