Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What do I do with all these tomatoes!? Part 1

About 6 years ago, Jack & I decided to start a vegetable garden. I don't remember exactly how (or why) we started, but knowing us, I'm thinking it went something like this:

Me: These tomatoes suck. And they're expensive. I hate tomatoes.
Jack: Yeah, they're nothing like home grown...
Me: You can grow tomatoes? Here?
Jack: *eye roll*
Me: So why haven't we DONE THIS?
Jack: *eye roll + sigh*

For a city girl from New Orleans, I had all these great visions in my head of strolling outside every morning in my flowing dress and big hat among the perfect weed-free rows and plucking all the beautiful perfect fruit and veggies into my little basket and going inside and cooking up a storm.
I can't even count the number of ways I was wrong.
Silly city girl.

But over the years our garden has grown, and grown, and some years we have tomatoes coming out of our ears, and some years we're cursing and swearing that this is the last year. But on the good years, you get to ask yourself "What the hell am I going to do with ALL THESE TOMATOES?!"

I have the answer.

In the early stages of summer, when fresh from the garden tomatoes are a new thing, we eat them plain, on salads, on sandwiches, fry the green ones (when my patience with waiting for them to turn gets especially thin).... anyway you could imagine! But after a while, you start looking for some variety.

And one kind we can never seem to eat fast enough is the cherry tomato. So this year, I've been trying something new that I found on one of my FAVORITE blogs ever, Kalyn's Kitchen... 


I've always roasted tomatoes (more to come on that soon), but I've never slow roasted them, and frankly didn't understand the difference until I actually tried it. Kalyn recommends using roma tomatoes (find her recipe here), and while they're my favorite, I always have issues with my romas, and never get mass quantities of them. :( So, first I tried this with a batch of creole tomatoes -- and being bigger than the romas, it took FOREVER! They were great, but having the oven on for 10 hours making the house hot was too much for me. Then my cherry & plum tomatoes started exploding, and I decided to try using them instead.... it was awesome!

Cherry, plum & roma tomatoes -- though, not the radioactive variety that they appear to be...
So I started with about 30(ish) cherry, plum & roma tomatoes and cut them all in half. Then drizzled olive oil over them (not too much), and added salt, pepper, oregano, basil & garlic powder. Mix them well so they're all coated evenly.

Arrange them all cut side down on a cookie sheet (I line mine with pan liner, but it's not necessary if you have a decent pan), and  pop them into a 250º oven and wait....

After about an hour and a half, they're pretty good and roasted. From this point, you just need to decide how dry you want them. I usually cook mine for about 2.5 - 3 hours (I prefer them still juicy), then I simply turn of the oven leaving them inside and let everything cool. Be careful not to let them burn though...

Once they're cool, you can either pull the skins off or just scrape the entire pan into a container. If I have a lot of romas and larger plums in the group, I sometimes take the skins off, but with tomatoes this small, often I just don't bother.

The finished product on an egg white omelet....

Breakfast win.
Add some mozzarella... and er. mah. gerd. Awesome.

I keeps saying I'm going to freeze some of these. I WANT to freeze some. However, I can't seem to keep them long enough to freeze. They go on everything and anything.

I'll freeze the next batch..... promise.....


30 (or so) cherry tomatoes washed & cut in half
1 Tablespoon each: dried oregano, basil & garlic powder
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Olive Oil (just enough to coat -- approximately 1T)

Preheat the oven to 250º. Add ingredients to a bowl and toss to coat with oil & seasonings evenly. Arrange on a cookie sheet cut-side down. Roast in the oven for 2-3 hours depending on desired doneness. ENJOY.

So easy, shortest recipe ever.

1 comment:

  1. Looks awesome! Will have to actually BUY the tomatoes since my plants all went kaput halfway through the season, but oh well!