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Slow-roasted tomatoes (Recipe: corn, bean, and two tomato salad) {vegan, gluten-free}


With any luck, the next time you see these tomatoes, they'll look like this:


For the past few weeks, the deer have been feasting on my only tomato plant, a San Marzano varietal I bought at our local organic gardening center, but a few days ago, against all odds, I spied a few green tomatoes on the vine, and today, a few more.

With any luck, there will be slow-roasted tomatoes this summer, made in my very own oven, with thyme and garlic -- and tomatoes -- from my very own garden. 

These little gems, which take the place of sun-dried tomatoes in my cooking, are easy to make, easy to freeze, and easy to share (the perfect hostess gift). The real gift, though, is to your cooking, especially in mid-winter when you can savor the burst of summer flavor while your garden is covered in snow.

Stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks (if covered with oil in the jar), or in the freezer for an entire winter, slow-roasted tomatoes give you a taste of summer all year round.

A half-sheet pan (jelly-roll pan) holds five pounds of tomatoes. It sounds like a lot, but I make two or three pans each summer. With five minutes of prep, you can create a pantry staple to carry you through from one tomato season to the next.

Here's how:

Preheat your oven to 200°F. Start with 5 pounds of tomatoes, either plum, or beefsteak, or yellow, or even cherry tomatoes or juliettes. 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.


Corn, bean and two tomato salad

A perfect summer salad or side dish, alongside grilled salmon or chicken. Serves 6-8.


6 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 tsp olive oil or butter
2 cups cooked black beans (if using canned beans, rinse and drain)
2 peaches or nectarines, diced
4 slow-roasted tomato halves, diced, plus a bit of the oil
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ancho chile powder
2 tsp rice wine or cider vinegar
1 package sugar substitute, or 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup canola or other neutral-flavored oil
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste


Shuck the corn (remove the husks), and with a sharp knife, slice off the kernels (tip: try standing the ear of corn vertically in a Bundt pan. When the kernels fly off, the high sides of the pan will catch them.)

In a small nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil or butter, and sauté the corn kernels for 1-2 minutes, until just heated through. Place corn in a mixing bowl with beans, peaches, slow-roasted and fresh tomatoes.

In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine lime juice, cumin, ancho chile, vinegar, sweetener, canola oil, salt and pepper. Shake to emulsify. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Pour on the bean mixture, and toss well to combine. Serve immediately, or let sit at room temperature for up to two hours, stirring occasionally.

Can be made ahead and refrigerated; bring to room temperature before serving.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Goat cheese and basil bruschetta
Chicken paella with slow-roasted tomatoes
Pasta with slow-roasted tomatoes
Linguine with tomato-olive sauce
My own meat 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.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I'm going to make some this week, but will have to shorten the time as I don't have 12 continuous hours at home. many thanks

I just bagged the first batch of my very own tomatoes. They didn't look as pretty as farm stand bought but they'll be just fine because they're mine. My plants might give me one more batch, the squirrels beat up my other plants. Oh, well! They're always next year.

I'm so happy for you that the deer have left your tomatoes alone! I was thinking of you this morning when I saw a squirrel feasting on my tomatoes.

I have more tomatoes to process and think these look terrific!

Delicious looking salad! I bet the roasted tomatoes made it an amazing eat.

Given the state of the tomato crop this summer, I may have to be satisfied with enjoying the photos of yours, but I'm going to hang onto the corn salad recipe, just in case I come across a few. That looks just like a cornucopia of summer.

Oh my, I am beyond jealous that you found San Marzano tomato plants. I've never been able to find those here. And great news about the tomatoes appearing! Fingers crossed that you'll get to make some roasted tomatoes this year. Love the sound of your salad, and I do have one or two containers of roasted tomatoes in the freezer still!

I've been making slow-roasted tomatoes by the dozens! I planted Principe Borghese tomatoes this year in my garden just for the roasting/drying process. I just finished my first batch and I'm so happy. I eat them like raisins.

I dried a few San Marzano's as well - MMMMM (although I had to start mine from seed, no organic greenhouse around here). Fortunately my tomatoes are one of the few things the deer leave alone in my garden, no peas, beets - but I can grow tomatoes!!!

These look beautiful! It has been a long time since, I have had fresh roasted tomatoes. They look delicious.

Between deer and rabbits, it's always a love-hate relationship with wild life & gardens. Such the eternal struggle (not that you can blame them). While I've not slow-roasted tomatoes for a few years (they always seem to get eaten too fast to bother roasting), this salad looks good enough to make the effort.

Easy to make, yes. Easy to freeze, yes. Easy to share - NOPE! They're so tasty that it's hard to give any away. You want to hoard every single one for yourself.

I made almost the same salad the other night, but not with peaches (which sounds intriguing). I added jicama to mine instead. It looks so delicious, Lydia!

I always have roasted tomatoes in my freezer. I use them with a little bacon and for a quick winter pasta dish.

What a gorgeous salad. I have lots of tomatoes growing right now so hopefully I'll get to roast and preserve some of them for use through the year.

We've made three pans of roasted tomatoes so far and will continue to make them as long as our Roma and San Marzano plants last this season. They are such a treat in the middle of winter when I'm longing for our garden-fresh tomatoes.

Milton, you can roast these overnight; I often do.

Pauline, between squirrels and tomato blight, you're lucky to have one good batch!

Julia, can't wait to hear what wonderful things you'll make with your tomatoes.

Ben, the roasted tomatoes added real depth of flavor.

TW, I hope your CSA comes through with some tomatoes before the end of summer.

Kalyn, it was only the organic gardening center that had the plants -- and at that, I think they had grown them from seed specially for one customer, and had just a few plants left over. I was lucky to snag one of them.

Chiot's Run, how lucky you are! Will look forward to hearing how you use your tomatoes, too.

Aysequl, there is really nothing to compare with fresh roasted tomatoes, even if you buy tomatoes at the farmers market.

Sandie, they say you should always plant extra for the wildlife. Next year I'll do that.

Sandra, I know just what you mean!

Susan, I love the idea of jicama, which would add such nice crunch. The peaches are the unexpected delight in this salad.

Pam, that sounds amazing.

George, do harvest some and try this slow-roasting method. You'll be so glad in mid-winter to have these in your freezer.

Andrea, I can't imagine winter without some slow-roasted tomatoes from my freezer!

Hi Lydia

I don't think I could fall asleep knowing the oven is on. Would 2 hours give or take really make a difference? I'll let you know how they turned out

I am looking forward to roasting some tomatoes, but they will not come from my yard, not enough sun with the tall trees. But maybe some from the farmers markets. thanks for the process and recipes!

Ironically the oven roasted tomatoes post was the very first one I read last year and I have been hooked ever since!
I did make these a couple of weeks (sadly with farmer market tomatoes instead of my own!)
There was none to freeze because they were SO GOOD we ate them like candy instantly!

I am bookmarking this now, those tomatoes just look too heavenly! Good luck with your own harvest!

Thanks for the reminder! I just harvested a ton of tomatoes yesterday. Maybe I'll throw then in the oven overnight.

Melynda, farmers market tomatoes will be great. You'll be so glad to have these in your freezer.

Carol, I'm so glad you've been here for a year!

Alisa, sadly after I wrote this post, the squirrels/deer/vampires got to these tomatoes before I did.

Aimee, the house always smells so good when I'm roasting tomatoes -- garlic, thyme....

gd luck on your ripening tomatoes, hope the deer stay away! lovely roasted tomatoes. they are perfection ;)

I have never eaten these before and so i do not have a point of comparison, but between Saturday (7 hours) and Sunday (4 and 2) I finished the slow roast. The problem with these tomatoes is that they are like crack.....once you start eating them you cannot stop LOL

many thanks for sharing this recipe

This looks really good! I just got some organic pepper and Himalayan sea salt from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com and I think I'll try them both out in this recipe over the weekend. Thanks for sharing!

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