Reader, I have run away from home. Until just a few days ago I loved my little apartment, cherished its age and character (read: no central air). And then, it became summer in Sacramento overnight and I wilted into a heap of perspiring unhappiness. This week was supposed to go to my happy place because I was in that blissful time between jobs where one has not a care in the world (except for planning our wedding, which I have carefully shoved into the back of my mind for the week) and sleep in! eat bon bons! dust off some ambitions! Instead, dear reader, I have fled the coop and am camping out at various air conditioned wifi spots around my neighborhood. This post comes to you from a sandwich shop, where I have easily polished a liter of their complimentary tap water. Mmmm.
Yesterday I spent the day in San Francisco wedding dress shopping (still searching for the one!) and savored the perfect weather. But the day before, Monday, I started to unravel halfway through this roasting recipe. Why, do you ask, would anyone with a good head on their shoulders, turn their oven on for three hours during the first triple digit day of the year? Because I am slowly losing my mind. I was wooed by the fresh tomatoes at the market, that finally looked plump and juicy for the first time in 2011, and I knew it was high time to roast these little guys and make a simple pasta dinner. Reason was noticeably absent from my decision-making at the grocery store and any shred of sanity left me at about hour two of roasting in my hot, hot apartment Monday afternoon.
After they were done roasting, and smiled up at me from the pan with their crinkly edges and sweet fragrance I closed all of the windows, cranked up the air conditioning and fled to an air conditioned coffee shop. I returned home an hour later, boiled some pasta and tossed them together with sauteed garlic and chopped fresh parsley. We loved the dinner, and ate seconds before we could wrap up any leftovers for lunch the next day. I should probably hold off posting anything new around here until I have cooled off (and mellowed out), but despite my bemoaning the heat these tomatoes were wonderful. The roasting makes the tomatoes shrivel into little coins of sweet summer flavor, concentrating their already remarkable juices. If you live in a less oppressive climate this time of year or have functioning air conditioning, this is the summer recipe for you.
slow roasted tomatoes
adapted from Around My French Table
yields about 4 servings
I used these roasted tomatoes with some spaghetti, sauteed garlic and chopped parsley, but you could use them any number of ways: atop a sandwich, scooped on top of a cracker with some cheese, tossed with a salad or served with some fresh mozzarella and basil for the perfect summer snack.
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1 sprig thyme or rosemary (optional)
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled (optional)
Move an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
Cut the tomatoes in half, scatter across a baking sheet and position each half so that the cut side faces up. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper (a little goes a long way) and olive oil, if using. If you are using the herbs and garlic, add them to the sheet.
Roast the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours until they become shriveled and a little dry.
Use the tomatoes immediately or let cool on a baking sheet. To preserve the tomatoes for up to a week in the refrigerator, add to an airtight container and cover with olive oil.