My friend Lois claims having these tomatoes on hand is like having money in the bank. I use them when sundried tomatoes are called for but these are much juicier and luscious. Pieces of ripe summer tomato are slow roasted with olive oil until their edges have a lacy golden crust and the tomatoes taste like candy.
~ Lynne Rosetto Kasper of The Splendid Table
Of course we HAD to try this.
But first we took a little field trip…
To the best little olive oil and vinegar shop in town. Gourmet heaven.
Our tummies hurt a little, I have to admit, after leaving…we may have gone a little bit overboard in our taste testing.
But how could we not? Amazing flavors…my mind began spinning with ideas.
And it was so worth it.
We loaded up on different flavors – it seems as though the possibilities are endless.
But back to the tomatoes.
Of these candied delights, Lynne also says, ” don’t be afraid of the quantity of oil called for here. It is essential to the tomatoes’ lavish flavors.”
And, “be sure to “ripen” the roasted tomatoes at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours before eating. Store them covered in the refrigerator up to 6 days. They freeze beautifully for three months — and sometimes taste even better for it.
2 to 2-1/2 pounds delicious, ripe, medium-sized tomatoes (not plum tomatoes, unless they are extremely flavorful and never Roma tomatoes which are flavorless)
1 cup robust extra-virgin olive oil**
**No measuring took place this time around, surprise, surprise. And we actually opted to make two batches. The first batch was made with sliced tomatoes and Persian Lime Olive Oil from Venice Olive Oil Co., and the second was made with tomato wedges and Basil Olive Oil.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Core tomatoes and halve vertically or slice. Do not seed. Leave small tomatoes in halves, cut slightly larger tomatoes into 4 wedges, medium ones into 6, and large into 8. In a half sheet pan, or two 2-1/2 quart shallow metal baking pans (not glass or enameled metal), arrange tomato wedges cut side up, about 1/2 to 1-inch apart. Coat tomatoes with oil — there should be enough to film the bottom of the pan as well. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake 30 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. Turn heat to 300 degrees, and bake 30 more minutes, or until edges are slightly darkened. If edges are not yet colored, turn heat down to 250 and bake another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tomatoes from the oven. Cool 20 minutes. Transfer them to a shallow glass or china dish and pour their oil over them. Let mellow, uncovered, at room temperature 4 to 6 hours.