Roasting tomatoes concentrates their flavor and changes their texture from a watery fruit to an intensely flavorful and meaty treat. Roasted tomatoes are used in soups, sauces, salsa, spread on toasted bread, tucked into sandwiches, as a side for meats, fish and poultry, whipped into potatoes, stirred into frittatas and egg scrambles, plopped into muffins for a savory pastry or snacked on au natural. Once you've made oven-roasted tomatoes, you will want them on hand to throw into everything.
Roasted tomatoes are nutritional rockstars
Did I mention roasted tomatoes are healthy? Tomatoes have a great nutritional profile, rich in vitamin C, E, K & B6, thiamin, niacin, folate, potassium, manganese, fiber and more. Tomatoes provide heart, bone health, vision health and antioxidants that protect against cancer. More over, cooking tomatoes increases lycopene and antioxidants.
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Tortoise or the hare? Slow or fast roast?
There is really no way to screw up a roasted tomato. You can slow cook it on 225 for three + hours or blast it at 425 for 30 minutes. You can roast them lightly so they are still plump and juicy or take them down until they are blackened and caramelized. You can dress them up with garlic and spices, or roast them with nothing more than olive oil, salt and pepper.
If you choose the quick and hot method you will get a plumper, juicier product that I like to use as a side to steak or chicken. It is best to skip the garlic as it will burn in the hot oven.
Slow roasting your tomatoes results in more concentrated flavor and a chewier, firmer texture. If you have the time to leave them in the oven for 3-4 hours, slow roasting is the way to go. At lower temperature you can add whole cloves of garlic without worrying about burning. Just plan on removing the garlic after an hour or so.
Make up a big batch and store about a week's worth in the fridge. Freeze the rest in single-use portions.