Slow roasting adds a depth of flavor to tomatoes that you cannot get by high-heat roasting, like I do for other vegetables. With slow-roasting, you are looking for the tomato to collapse upon itself and reduce its moisture content, for a concentration of flavor.
I love to use a bunch of fresh garlic with this recipe, but you have to be especially mindful of the heat, because garlic will brown (and burn) which gives it a bitter and unpleasant flavor.
- 6 to 8 Roma tomatoes, more or less depending on your crowd
- 1 clove of garlic per tomato, minced
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
Cut Roma tomatoes in half, right through the stem (lengthwise). If the stem is not too woody, I just leave it intact – otherwise core it out.
Use your little finger to push out the seeds from each tomato half, and then I “sling” each half right into the sink to get any remaining seeds out (using the same method as if you were shaking down a mercury thermometer).
With as much of the seeds out as possible, place tomatoes on a sheet (or baking) pan, face-up. Sprinkle with minced fresh garlic, and try to get the garlic down inside the tomato where the seeds were. Drizzle each half liberally with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper.
Place sheet pan in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven, and allow to roast for 2-3 hours, depending on your desired level of doneness and the performance of your oven. Ovens vary, and some with convection feature will take the less cooking time.
Remove from oven, and allow the tomatoes to cool down right on the sheet pan. They are tremendous on toasted baguette, as you would serve Bruschetta, or you can serve the halves on a grilled vegetable platter or as a vegetable side dish for brunch or dinner.
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