This summer we have enjoyed the indulgence of going to the Dallas Farmer's Market every Saturday to pick up a big basket of fresh, local tomatoes. A Canton farm sells baskets containing 15 or more gigantic tomatoes, that are "seconds," for just $6. These seconds mostly just have small blemishes, or are very ripe and needing to be used ASAP. And you know what ripe means -- lots and lots of flavor.
In an effort to use the bounty every week, I have been canning tomatoes and sauce, freezing some, and now roasting these beauties. Forget the jarred, expensive sundried tomatoes -- these are so much better! Try this for yourself, and you'll never go back to the dried tomatoes from the store.
Depending on the size of your tomatoes, cut into quarters or even into sixths. Make your life a little easier and line your baking sheet with some parchment paper. (This can go into the compost after cooking, by the way!) Drizzle with olive oil, and salt to taste. A sprinkling of freshly cracked pepper is good, too. I threw a few garlic cloves in there also, but they did need to be removed after 30 minutes.
Roast at 400 degrees for one hour. If you have small pieces, be sure to check every 10 minutes or so to make sure they aren't burning. The variance in cooking time from batch to batch is crazy -- they could be totally done before the hour is up, or need up to an additional hour of roasting. The last batch I did had so much liquid that I had to pour it off twice, and they roasted for an hour and 45 minutes. I even broiled them at one point to speed up the process.
The tomatoes will look like a disaster when they're done.
But they're actually delicious! Crispy and carmelized on the edges, with a rich, silky tomato flavor that I didn't expect after so many years of eating leathery, dried out sundried tomatoes from the store. They look so much better after you remove them from the burned-up parchment, too.
With my delicious, super-easy, freshly homemade bread (recipe here) , Texas Goat Cheese, and basil just plucked from the garden.
I intend to roast up a bunch of these, freeze on cookie sheets and then pop them into freezer bags. How nice will it be this winter to thaw a few out, drizzle with olive oil, and have a remembrance of summer's freshness!
I hope you try some! I'm joining one of my favorite bloggers today, Yvonne at StoneGable, for On the Menu Monday. Please go by and see what she has cooking this week, it's always something wonderful.
Update: I'm also joining Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for her Best of 2011 Recipes. Yum!
Have a happy week! xoxo, Andrea