Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs & Garlic | The Rising Spoon: Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs & Garlic

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs & Garlic

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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, makes your kitchen smell ahh-mazing, and captures the divine flavor of a tomato at its peak ripeness, so you can savor it six months from now when your windows are covered in frost and you need a warm meal to fill your belly.

Or, if you're not the plan-ahead-to-freeze-stuff-for-winter type you can eat these tomatoes straight away. Toss them directly from the oven into warm pasta, chunks of marinated mozzarella, or scrambled eggs. Heck, I even eat the leftovers straight from the fridge (still cold) with a fork. They're that good!

The beauty of this recipe is it can be made in small batches whenever you have fresh tomatoes on hand, which...let's be honest...it probably all year long since we frequently import tomatoes into the U.S. from Mexico during the winter months.

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.
The off-season tomatoes won't taste as good as summer tomatoes (heirloom are the most flavorful), but they're still awesome when it's 32 degrees outside and you're craving colorful veggies (errrr I mean fruit) with vitamin C, K & A + potassium. 

Preserving Roasted Cherry Tomatoes For Winter 

If you get the chance, I recommend visiting 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:
  • add to frozen or homemade pizza
  • stir into pasta
  • add to homemade chili, soup, or jambalaya
  • thaw & mix into scrambled eggs, breakfast muffins, a frittata or quiche
  • thaw & smear onto toast with goat cheese or feta + a drizzle of olive oil

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.

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar, 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. 

Ingredients
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 and/or oregano (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled & smashed (leave whole or chop into chunks)
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 workhorse of my kitchen)

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Directions
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 fine as you wish. Smash and peel the garlic (chop it into chunks if you want), 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. 


I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's your favorite way to fix fresh tomatoes in recipes and preserve them for cooler months?

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.

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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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