Northern Illinois had its first frost advisory last night and, even though we’re on a hill and don’t usually get affected too badly the first frost or two, there was definitely a light sprinkle of frost on our lawn this morning.
I cleaned out our tomato, squash and bean plants over the weekend, but the frost advisory forced me to go out and pick some of my herbs, which are usually the hardest hit. So, up came all my green and purple basil, tons of parsley, bunches of oregano and thyme, and definitely some rosemary.
I had a huge basket of beautiful, ripe Roma tomatoes sitting on my counter, so roasting them with herbs, olive oil and garlic was the way to go last night. These are great as bruschetta or tossed with hot pasta and are perfect for roasted tomato soup. An added bonus is that they freeze really well (if they make it that far). Roasting tomatoes really intensifies their flavor, so you’ll find a lot of ways to enjoy them.
This doesn’t really involve a recipe as much as a technique, so don’t sweat exact amounts here. Also, you can do this with any type of tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes, Roma’s just tend to be the meatiest. I had enough tomatoes for 2 large baking sheets full, and ended up with 1 heaping plate of roasted tomatoes.
Oven Roasted Tomatoes with Olive Oil, Garlic and Herbs Recipe
Preheat oven to 325°
Line a large baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper. Here’s what else you’ll need:
- Garlic, sliced
- Fresh or dried herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, or chives
- Coarse salt and pepper
- Olive oil
And here’s how to make them:
- Wash tomatoes and slice off the very tops of them
- Slice tomatoes in half and remove the seeds, trying hard to preserve as much as the tomato pulp as possible, tossing the prepared tomatoes on your lined baking sheet as you go
- Once all of the tomatoes are prepped, toss on your garlic, spices and herbs. On this batch, I used fresh thyme, about 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, along with kosher salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with a bit of olive oil. You don’t need much – I used about 1 tablespoon or less per baking sheet
- With your hands, toss everything around to blend the olive oil and flavors. I rub the herbs, to crush them a bit and release their oils – this really helps with the overall flavor.
- Arrange the tomatoes cut side down on baking sheet(s)
- Roast in oven until skins are wrinkled and starting to caramelize around the edges (this batch took 1 hour and 15 minutes, but the cooking time will depend on your oven and the type of tomatoes you use)
That’s it! Super easy and delicious. Of course, these are also really great for you; loaded with lycopene and great for your heart.
To freeze them, you can leave them whole or slice them, whichever you prefer. These are also great on homemade pizzas – I think you’ll find a lot of uses for them.
I’m not sure I’m ready for winter…I never am…but at least I’m saving my summer harvest, to bring back a bit of warm sunshine in the dead of winter.
Happy Monday, everyone!