There is something to be said for eating local, eating fresh and eating in season if you want the best of the best ingredients and flavor. But there are times when you have to resort to other means to have what you want, when you want it!
Have you ever eaten a Tomato in the dead of winter? Tasteless, right? Well, it does not have to be if you follow this one tip and trick I use (all year round) to have great tasting tomatoes anytime.
A roasted, partly dehydrated tomato is never tasteless. In fact, slow roasting tomatoes in the oven intensifies the flavor and sweetness. Voila! A tomato that tastes great in the dead of winter! Now we are talking about some great eating. I can snack on them by the handful!
1 – 2 pints of tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp dried italian herbs
salt and pepper to taste
Cut as many grape tomatoes in half as will fit in a roasting pan lined with parchment paper. I usually make a 9 x 13 pan full which is around 2 pints of tomatoes.
Place the cut tomatoes in the pan and make sure that the cut side of the tomatoes are facing up. Next drizzle extra virgin olive oil lightly over the tomatoes and sprinkle them with dried italian herbs like rosemary, basil and oregano. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper.
Sometimes I drizzle the olive oil from the poached garlic I have one hand. You could drizzle the tomatoes with one of the “bread dipping” oil blends that are so popular now.
The next step is to roast them at 325°F for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. I can’t give you an exact time for this step. It will depend on how large the tomatoes are as to how long it takes them to reduce in volume by half and become partly dehydrated.
I usually just go by how they look. The tomatoes get a little shriveled looking and they get somewhat flat. They still are a little juicy so they are not totally dehydrated like sun-dried tomatoes.
You really can’t go wrong. There is no correct amount of dehydration that has to take place other than cook until they are half as tall as they were when you put them in the oven!
Sorry I can’t be more specific. I am forcing you to get in the kitchen and just play around with the concept. Be fearless!
I put these little gems in everything from salads to antipasto platters ,and make appetizers by putting them on a skewer with a piece of fresh mozzarella dipped in pesto and a slice of salumi.