The Rising Spoon: Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs & Garlic

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs & Garlic

Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs & Garlic

Come late August and early September when you've had your fill of recipes with fresh tomatoes, you're probably wondering, what's the best way to preserve them? 

Roasting. Hands down. Roasted tomatoes are the best.

This extra step concentrates the tomato's sweetness and captures the signature summer flavor, so you can savor it six months from now when it's frigid outside and you need a warm meal to fill your belly.

Or, you can eat it straight away. Toss it directly from the oven into warm pasta, chunks of marinated mozzarella, or scrambled eggs.

The beauty of this recipe is it can be made in small batches if you're not the plan-ahead-to-freeze-stuff-for-winter type.

If you are that type, though...

Preserving Roasted Cherry Tomatoes For Winter 

Visit your local farmer's market or grocery store while tomatoes are readily available (and in season), so you can buy piles of them at a discount. Then, roast 'em in batches (or on multiple baking sheets) to concentrate the flavors. 

Flash freeze the roasted tomatoes for an hour in a flat layer, then store in plastic bags or mason jars to use in January, February and March when you need a pick-me-up.

How to Use Frozen Roasted Tomatoes in Recipes:

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs & Garlic
Fresh tomatoes roasted with herbs, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar & seasonings. Roasting the tomatoes concentrates their sweetness and helps preserve them if you're going to freeze them to use in the winter months. 

1-2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes, stems removed (use local/heirloom if you can)
4-6 tomatoes, quartered & tops removed
Fresh herbs, to taste: thyme, rosemary, basil & oregano (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled & smashed but left whole
Extra virgin olive oil (I use THIS)
Balsamic vinegar (try to find a good quality, aged vinegar)
Sea salt (I love THIS)
Cracked black pepper

Recommended Equipment
large rimmed baking sheet (this is the work horse of my kitchen)

Want more real food & gadget recommendations? Check out my shop page

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and dry the tomatoes. Quarter the bigger ones, making sure to remove the tops, then halve the cherry or grape tomatoes. If they're really tiny you can leave them whole. 

Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet, then remove the fresh herbs from their stems and chop the leaves as course or fine as you wish. Smash and peel the garlic, then toss it onto the sheet, as well. Drizzle everything with extra virgin olive oil (or whatever cooking oil you wish) and a high quality balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper on, to taste. 

Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring or shaking the pan once or twice. Cooking them for this long (or even longer) dries them up a bit and concentrates the sweetness of the tomatoes. They are so delicious!

Notes & Tips
  • If you want the tomatoes to retain more of their juice, pull them out after 20-30 minutes in the oven.
  • Don't have fresh herbs around? Dried herbs will work, just use a smaller amount since they're more concentrated.
  • This is an excellent way to preserve fresh tomatoes for the fall and winter. Roasting concentrates the flavor, and you can simply freeze them in a flat layer, then store until you're ready to use them on pizza, or in chili, pasta, and soups. 

Keep Reading! More Recipes From The Rising Spoon:

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Oven-Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs & Garlic

I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's your favorite way to fix fresh tomatoes?

This post is linked to: Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wednesday Whatsits, The Wednesday Roundup, Whimsy Wednesday, Worthwhile Wednesdays, Full Plate ThursdayNatural Family Friday, and Fresh Foods Wednesday.
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About Elaina Newton
Elaina is the creator, writer, and foodie behind the blog, The Rising Spoon. She's a self-taught cook and passionate about spreading basic cooking skills and information about real foods. She loves reading fiction, crafting, video games, dark roast coffee, cats, and rainy days. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Google +, and Twitter.

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