Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Tomatoes Roasted in Olive Oil
This project happened back in September. Around the same time as the crisp. I had tomatoes galore. Big fat heirloom tomatoes. Before we go any further I have something to admit. Don't judge.
I don't really like fresh tomatoes. And by fresh I mean raw.
This coming from the person who as a kid was told to stop picking the tomatoes in the garden and decided to eat them right off the plants. Look Ma no hands!
While we are discussing things I don't like I might as well just admit it to you now... I live in Maine and I don't eat lobster, shrimp, clams, scallops, muscles or oysters.
I've heard it all. Just accept it and move along. I have! So you won't be seeing any tomato sandwich, lobster roll, tempura shrimp, bacon wrapped scallops, garlic muscles, clam cakes or oysters Rockefeller. Sorry kids.
So now that we've gotten that out of the way let's get back to the tomatoes.
You are probably wondering why I bother to grow tomatoes if I don't like fresh tomatoes. Isn't that the whole purpose of growing your own tomatoes? So you can walk down to your garden, pick one and eat it right there with the juice dripping down your chin. Some say yes. I say, HECK NO! Salsa and sauce made with home grown tomatoes are the reason to spend all that time picking bugs off the plants and coaxing them along until they are crazy tomato producing machines. And when you get slammed with tomatoes at the end of August, after all that work, you can grin to yourself and know that if you roast them and freeze them you will have the best tomatoes to use all winter. Garden fresh tomato season just got a whole lot longer!
You can certainly do this with tomatoes from the grocery store too, but it tastes much better if you use ones that you have grown yourself or gotten at a farmer's market. Kind of silly to post this now that you don't have access to fresh garden tomatoes. But what the heck. I'm doing it anyway. And even if you aren't able to grow, pick and roast tomatoes till the end of next summer you have at least learned something about my taste buds!
Step one - grow tomatoes.
Step two - pick tomatoes.
Step three - give 'em a rinse.
Step four - preheat your oven to 450.
Step five - line a baking sheet with aluminum foil - you want to use a baking sheet with sides, like a jelly roll pan. And the aluminum foil, well that is just so you don't have to scrape tomato bits off your pan when you are done. I'm thinking of you fellow dish washing haters!
Step six - chop the tomatoes, doesn't have to be pretty. You just want all the chunks to be similar in size.
Step seven - drizzle with plenty of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Step eight - put the pan in the oven. I work with high school students, you've got to be specific and include EVERY step!
Step nine - roast until tomatoes have broken down and look like a thick sauce. Don't worry if it looks watery, just roast it a little long.
Step ten - let cool.
Step eleven - scoop into freezer bags or containers. WRITE THE DATE ON THE CONTAINER!
Step twelve - freeze.
Step thirteen - remove from freezer in the dead of winter and add to soups and sauces.
I didn't take a picture when I finished roasting the tomatoes. It was dark. I also didn't take a picture of the tomatoes in their freezer bags. I forgot. But I will take a picture when I break them out this winter. So you'll just have to be patient and use your imagination for the time being.