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September 2, 2008

Slow-roasted tomatoes (Recipe: tomato and goat cheese bruschetta) {vegetarian}

Slowroastedtomatoes3

Yes, friends, it's that time of year.

Time to make daily runs to the farm stand up the road.

Time to call Elwood to track down a few heads of his home-grown garlic.

Time to pull some fragrant thyme from my garden.

Time to bring out my favorite sea salt that Katie sent from France.

Time to make slow-roasted tomatoes.

For the past three summers, I've been making trays and trays of these tomatoes to freeze for the winter. Store-bought sun dried tomatoes, banished from my pantry, taste like shoe leather compared to the soft, chewy texture of tomatoes cooked low and slow in your own oven.

And the flavor? Concentrated and delicate, no matter what type of tomato you use (and anything will work, from tiny sungolds to giant beefsteaks). You can almost taste the goodness of Vitamin C and the anti-oxidant properties of lycopene.

Why do I keep these in the freezer all year, replenishing my supply every August and September when tomatoes are at their peak at the farm stands? So I can make tomato hummus and salad dressing and bean dip, and pasta with avocado and goat cheese, and a tart with onions and arugula, and a rich romesco sauce.

Here's my method: Preheat your oven to 200°F. Start with 5 pounds of tomatoes, either plum, or beefsteak, or yellow, or even cherry tomatoes if that's what you have in the garden (the tomatoes in my photo are juliettes, which are 2-3 inches long). Cut the tomatoes in half end-to-end, and place cut side up on a rimmed sheet pan. Chop 4 cloves of garlic, and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Strip several sprigs of fresh thyme, and sprinkle the leaves over the tomatoes. Season with coarse sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil liberally over all of the tomatoes; you'll want to save the oil for use in your cooking. Place in the oven for 10-12 hours*; the tomatoes will collapse, but not completely dry out. Pack into small ziploc bags or a freezeable container, and pour the oil from the pan over the top. (*Note: smaller tomatoes will take much less time, so check after 4-5 hours.) Can be frozen for up to one year.

Goat cheese and basil bruschetta

Tomato and goat cheese bruschetta

An infinitely flexible appetizer; use whatever cheese you have on hand. Fontina, brie, or fresh mozzarella are good alternatives. Serves 6.

Ingredients

1 baguette
8 oz soft goat cheese (or boursin or other cheese, sliced)
20-24 whole basil leaves
48 small slow-roasted tomato halves, or 2 large slow-roasted tomatoes, chopped
Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat your oven broiler, toaster oven or grill. Slice the baguette on an angle into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Place on a sheet pan, and lightly toast in the oven (or grill); bread should be warm but not cracker-crispy.

Spread each slice with goat cheese, top with a basil leaf and two small slow-roasted tomato halves or chopped tomato. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with some of the tomato cooking oil (or with a fruity extra-virgin olive oil).

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Chicken paella
Pasta with slow-roasted tomatoes
Clean-the-freezer chili
Braised fish, Tunisian style
Linguine with tomato-olive sauce

Need more creative ideas for using tomatoes all year round? Get 25 Tomatoes, my e-book packed with fantastic recipes, full-color photos and a fun video tutorial. With the FREE Kindle Reading app, delicious tomato recipes will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

Comments

summer always has me in a cooking and saving frenzy! somehow the slow roasted tomatoes i make never make it to the winter! i think i'll have to make more this time!

These are just the very best. I need more ovens to make enough of these!!

Ooh, I like your method! Canning's good -- but this looks much easier and I bet the flavor profile is pretty amazing too! Now that I have a basement full of canned tomatoes, maybe I'll buy another case of tomatoes and oven dry them for freezing.

Yum! It IS time to make this again. ;-)

Paz

Aiii, my tomato source told me over the weekend, that there will be NO MORE of my favorite Cascades and Juliets for roasting. Major crop failure!

I made them last year and last week. They are really great. (In the recipe, you mean 4 to 8 not 48 - or did my browser omit a hyphen?)

Of course you know I roasted tomatoes this weekend, but for a short time on high heat. Your recipe will make for a firmer and tastier result. O Those Photos! Fantastic!

Those tomatoes are a beautiful sight! I'll bet that their sweetness is the perfect counterpoint to the goat cheese's tang. Looks lovely!

That bruschetta looks fabulous! I've got pounds of tomatoes - I am ready to roast!!! Slowly, of course ...

Oh, I've been making these this summer too. I just picked 10 lbs of tomatoes from my garden last night and this will be their fate tonight (I pop them in my convection oven overnight). They will be joined by a bushel of tomatoes I bought at the farmer's market. I'll be canning mine for winter, my freezer is full of wild berries we picked earlier this summer.

Lydia, I get at serious risk when I roast tomatoes - I'll probably eat them all straight from the oven before I prepare a recipe! :)

I can't wait for Saturdays just to visit my tomato guy.

How do I love thee, slow roasted tomatoes? Straight out of the oven, then on warm bread with goat cheese if I can possibly control myself.

Quite the striking photos in this post, and the accompanying recipe is elegant yet rustic, simple yet lovely---my favorite type!

Great idea! Better enjoy it while the best tasting ones are in season!

They last a year?? Funny, I made some yesterday and I don't think they'll last the week... I must be doing something wrong. :P

(Seriously, unless I tried to make pounds and pounds at a time, I can't help eating them all!)

Slow roasted tomatoes make me glad to be alive.

Oh Lydia they look fantastic. I never thought of freezing them though, I just tend to preserve them in jars of olive oil (sometimes with chili or herbs too).

This is perfect late-summer picnic fare. A bottle of Chianti, a checkered cloth, and you're all set.

I'd love some of those on pizza!

I love this method, I really have to try this. I've roasted tomatoes many times, but never slow roasted for 12 hours. I want these in my freezer all winter too! I'm off to buy a bushel!

Meeta, MyKitchen, Paz, Joanna: I find myself making more each year. First it was 5 pounds, then 10, now I make at least 20 pounds every summer!

Julia, freezing works really well, and the tomatoes do hold their moisture after roasting, but the flavor is concentrated. Do try.

Alanna, one of my local farms has been supplying me with these lovely little tomatoes for the past few weeks. I buy 5 or 10 pounds every time I go. So far, no crop failure (keeping my fingers crossed).

Mae, I do mean 48 -- 2 tomato halves per slice of bread, 24 slices from a baguette. But thanks for checking!

Marcia, try the low and slow method -- the results are amazing.

Susan, the tomatoes are great on their own -- a bit garlicky, the way I make them, and a nice counterpoint to the goat cheese.

TW, I often do these overnight, when I have larger tomatoes. Waking up to the aroma of roasted tomatoes is amazing.

Susy, when you cook the tomatoes in the convection oven, do they cook for a shorter period of time?

Patricia, that definitely happens around here, too -- like disappearing cookie dough!

Warda, you have a tomato guy?! Lucky you!!

Sandie, I can never resist eating a few tomato halves right from the oven. And thanks -- I'm always trying to improve my photography.

Veron, that's so true -- another few weeks, and all the farm tomatoes will be gone.

Pam, me too.

George, because these tomatoes aren't totally dried, they really do better in the freezer or fridge.

Susan, invite me!

Brilynn, these tomatoes are great on pizza, on their own with cheese, or mixed with fresh chopped tomatoes.

Marie, I've found that no matter what kind of tomatoes I use, I can fit 5 pounds on a sheet pan. A bushel might take you a while, but it will really be worth it when you pull the tomatoes out of the freezer in mid-winter.

Great photo of the tomatoes! They really are the most wonderful thing aren't they? I'm finally getting a pretty steady supply of tomatoes and am planning to make my first batch this coming weekend.

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing this. Our tomatoes are ripe and ready for picking and I will try your method with some of them. :)

What a stunning photo!! This sounds like a cultural thing, coz this isn't that common in Singapore. I just know from the looks of it that they taste amazing~

I love these on white pizza. So good.
Gorgeous photos!

Wow -- that's a really long time. I love the herbs in this and the idea of being able to freeze. Can't get enough tomatoes right now -- I'm loving these.

These look amazing! Such a great way to have to amazing flavors of summer in the dead of winter!

I'm roasting some tomatoes right now! Not the exact same method as you use, but really close. Your pics (and the smell coming from my oven) is making me wish they didn't take so long to roast! :)

I love the beautiful simplicity of these. If only we would get some cool weather I might consider leaving my oven on for 12 hours!

Lydia- This recipe has me swooning. I love slow roasted tomatoes- and goat cheese and basil and bruschetta... Heaven.

I made slow roasted cherry tomatoes a couple weeks ago and did something very similar with them! I made bruschetta and smeared it with a combination of goat cheese and cream cheese and topped it with the slow roasted cherry tomatoes. Best appetizer ever!

You have inspired me to buy extra tomatoes the next time I go to the farmers' market. The combination of goat cheese, basil and tomato is a keeper. I love putting these bruschetta on top of a salad of mixed greens and calling it a meal.

hi Lydia! oh how beautiful!! mmmmn i can tell how flavorful those roasted tomatoes are!

Oh, I love this!! And, what I love more is that you and Luisa seem to be on the same wavelength this week! How'd you do that? ;p

Kalyn, thank you. I'm trying some new (to me) ways to take photos, and I'm always happy when the photo looks as good as the food! I know that you are a lover of slow-roasted tomatoes and have some wonderful recipes on your blog.

Sam, you'll be so glad to have some of these tomatoes in your freezer this winter.

Noobcook, I guess these tomatoes are more a Mediterranean way of serving them, with olive oil and garlic and herbs. But I promise you that they are delicious, so I hope you will try them.

Dawn, good idea -- white pizza is always so garlicky anyway, and the tomatoes would make a great addition.

Kellypea, low and slow is the secret. The small tomatoes I used for this photo cooked for 5 hours; larger ones go up to 12 hours. And the house smells amazing while they are roasting.

Joy, it's such fun to pull these tomatoes out of the freezer in January, when we are so desperate for the flavor of summer tomatoes.

LyB, isn't the aroma intoxicating? I love cooking these almost as much as I love eating them!

Aimee, today it's close to 90F here, so I don't even want to think about turning my oven on. But by the weekend I'll be slow-roasting tomatoes again -- a friend brought 5 pounds from her garden today.

Karina, this has to be one of my favorite combinations of flavors, too.

Nicole, I love the idea of adding some cream cheese -- it would temper the tartness of the goat cheese, I think. Will definitely try it!

Lynda, buy those tomatoes right away, while they are in season and at their peak. In a few weeks they will be hard to find, and you'll wish you had roasted some for the freezer.

Aria, hi! So nice to hear from you. These tomatoes really are wonderful.

Alisha, it's tomato season, so many bloggers will be writing about slow-roasted tomatoes in the next few days/weeks. Everyone does something different with them.

Yow! Lydia, I'm late to the tomato party - but as is often the case, you set out exactly what I needed. An...enthusiastic friends keeps bringing me tomatoes - the last time, a crate full. Time for roasting!

My mouth is watering. Literally. I'm heading for the farmer's market this weekend, for sure!

Those tomatoes and that bruschetta look absolutely fantastic! I can smell the sweet, sultry tomatoes through my monitor! Mmmm mmm!

Roasted tomatoes and goat cheese...if I did not have to fast for the doctor's tonight I'd be making it right away!! Sounds delicious!

I need freezer space to accomplish these beauties. These definitely sound so delicious...a peice of summer all year round:D

Marilyn, it's never too late for this party! I'd be happy to help roast that crate of tomatoes.

Toni, I'm always surprised (and pleased) when my photos look as delicious as the food. Try this way of cooking tomatoes -- I'm sure you'll love it. And you can vary the seasonings to make them a bit more "southwest", too.

Scott, thank you! Tomato season will be over before we know it, so I'm off to the farmers' market this weekend to buy more.

Tartelette, sorry to post something so delicious when you can't eat!

Bellini Valli, I pack these in ziploc bags, which allow for small portions and don't take up much space. And, like chocolate chip cookie dough, not all of the tomatoes I roast make it to the freezer anyway!

Why have I not been doing this? This sounds delightfully easy to do and like a spectacular thing to have handy year-round. Next season, my backyard is going to be a tomato factory, lol. These look awesome

I always have trouble convincing hubs to roast tomatoes because he likes them fresh. Fortunately they are coming in fast enough for me to sneak some away for this. Yum!

Mike, it's not too late to make up a couple of trays of tomatoes -- takes 5 minutes of work, hours of undisturbed cooking -- and loads of pleasure later in the winter when you pull them out of the freezer.

Andrea, I've had two deliveries of tomatoes from friends' gardens this week, an embarrassment of riches for sure, and at least half of the haul will be roasted this weekend. Hubs will be glad if you stash some away and surprise him with them in February.

I was salivating after the first 2 sentences.... Now I'm just a puddle of envy!
I have an empty freezer...
But I discovered a pomegranate tree at our future house... So there!

You inspired me! I slow roasted a stack of plum tomatoes today, exactly as you set out above. And they are just delicious - the flavours are so intense.

Rather than freeze them, I put the tomatoes and their oil into jars, as I have a tiny freezer but plenty of cupboard space.

I will definitely be doing this again.

Thank you so much for the inspiration! :)

this looks so good.

Katie, a pomegranate tree? Wonderful! I remember picking pomegranates off the trees when I spent a summer in Israel, and sucking out the warm seeds. Oh, so good. Can't wait to see what you'll be making in your new kitchen.

Lizzie, I'm soooo glad you made these tomatoes and that you like them as much as I do! Please be sure, though, to store them in the refrigerator or freezer, unless you properly seal the jars.

Bunny, thanks, and welcome to The Perfect Pantry.

I love this recipe. I still have tomatoes ripening on the plants outside.
Great idea!
I have an award for you on my site today, dear.
Cheers.

Hi Lydia - just in reply to your message above...

I put the hot tomatoes and oil into hot sterilised jars then sealed them straight away. They pressure-seal themselves that way. It's good advice to make sure they're totally covered in oil - I'd hate for them to spoil. I try to use up home-preserved things within 3 months, and that won't be a problem with these tomatoes ;)

I also tried your method with bell peppers and that worked really well too! They take a lot less time in the oven, so you have to keep an eye on them.

Great method! This recipe looks so delicious. Not to mention the wonderful vitamins too. I will try this recipe out this week and hope it tastes as good as I think it will. Thanks!

I tried roasting tomatoes. I researched several recipes and opted for one using a higher temperature and shorter roasting time. I added whole cloves of garlic to the pan. I sprinkled the tomatoes with sea salt, pepper, garlic, pepper and thyme. I was generous with the evoo. They were delicious! Last night I added some of the roasted tomatoes to penne pasta, and lemon grilled shrimp. It was absolutely yummy! I am a convert of roasted tomatoes. I will be going to the market again soon! Thank you! dbm

Dan, I feel absolutely certain you will love these tomatoes!

Debbie, thanks so much for roasting. Next time, try lower and slower, just to compare. The tomatoes cooked this way have the most amazing flavor.

These sound amazing. We just picked up 25 lbs of tomatoes from our co-op, and we have plans for spaghetti sauce and salsa, but some of them will definitely be reserved for roasting. I've been looking for someone's tried and true method.

You've encouraged me to make this! Great to know they can be frozen as well.

Lydia, I haven't visited 'the pantry' for a while...and I'm wondering, did anybody ever try slow roasted their peppers? I'm just wondering if anybody else had success with them, or, if I just have strange tastes!
Lori

Oops, I meant slow 'roasting'!

Hi! I've just found your blog today through a recipe that showed up in my ZITE feed. What a gem! I am loving this site and am so glad to have found it! I teach Culinary Arts at a public high school and I can tell this site will be a great resource for both my students and I! I do have a question - with these roasted tomatoes that are frozen, do you simply pull them out and let them thaw? If you are making a hot dish, can you cook them from frozen? Just curious as to how you use them from the freezer. Thanks!

Lauren, you can use them frozen in sauces, but for other uses I let them defrost, then chop or slice or use the halves in one piece.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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