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Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

September brings an abundance of big, sweet tomatoes, not only on my own vines but in low-priced boxes at the farms stands. The tourists and summer people are gone but the tomatoes keep on coming, so as prices drop and the fruit gets better and better I start thinking about all the wonderful ways to use tomatoes in sauces and stews. 

One of my favorite ways to start is by slow-roasting a box of tomatoes. When done, the flavor and sweetness of the tomatoes is concentrated and mingled with the herbs and the tomatoes are falling apart. I use them for pizza and pasta sauces (see, for example, Kevin's Romesco Sauce at Seriously Good) or any preparation calling for cooked tomatoes, such as my Tomato Flan or Tomato Bread Pudding.

24 ripe tomatoes, halved
2 T sage, minced
2 T oregano, minced
2 T parsley, minced
2 T thyme, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil

Place the tomatoes cut side down on a jellyroll pan lined with oiled parchment paper. Drizzle with additional oil and scatter on the herbs. Roast 8 hours at 175º. Allow to cool slightly and slip the skins off the tomatoes with your fingers. Discard skins and place roasted tomatoes, with the oil and herbs, in a plastic or glass container. (If desired, you can press them through a food mill while still warm, if you want a very uniform sauce base. I'm not that fussy about the seeds, and in fact I like little meaty chunks of tomato in most of the dishes I used this for, so I omit this step.)  Refrigerate and use within 4 or 5 days. (I usually don't season them at this point, preferring instead to season the sauce or dish of which they become a part when it's finished.)


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Looks delicious. Do you use fresh or dried herbs? I've heard some chefs call for dried when doing slow cooking as they say that fresh herbs don't really stand up to the cooking, losing their flavor.

What do you think?

These look great. I like to use roasted tomatoes with pasta. Mostly tomatoes with a little bit of pasta. Yum!

Hi Ruth...I use fresh herbs because right now I have a garden full of terms of getting the full flavor topnotes of the herbs, I suspect that "some chefs" are right, in that adding fresh herbs to a sauce at the end will have more noticable impact...also, their thinking might also be along the lines of ...why waste valuable fresh herbs on a long slow cooking process when dry herbs will rehydrate in the liquids and given the long roasting time?...anyway, I pretty much always add fresh herbs to sauces at the end if I have them anyway...! Either way, the slow roasting of the herbs in the oil and tomato juice sure makes the kitchen smell nice...

Delicious looking and easy (my kind of recipe!). I recently developed a taste for tomatoes. I never really like them before.

My mom bought some vegetables from a Farmer's Market near her job last week, which including tomatoes. They were the most delicious tomatoes I've ever tasted. I'd have like to try your recipe out with them, except we finished them all. I'll have to buy some good tomatoes to try your recipe.

Are those yellow (???) tomatoes in the background?


Hi again Paz...yes, you should definitely try is the time in the Northeast U.S...yes, those are yellow tomatoes (said to be acid-free) in the back of the picture...Thanks for your continued interest in!

Hi, Stephen. Those tomatoes do look luscious. A question which you might know the answer to: Is there a way to long term store roasted tomatoes? Canned tomatoes and dried can be stored but I can't think of a way of storing roasted tomatoes wihtout ruining them somehow.


Hi Miguel...when you say "canned" I'm assuming you mean in metal cans from industrial processors...but I would think roasted tomatoes would be perfect for home canning (pressure sealed in sterilized glass jars)...though I've never had the energy to get into home canning, after watching my mother do it every September!

If anyone reading this knows more about how this would work with home canning, please let us know!

I should have made it clearer, I meant home canning. I´m just thinking about what kind of liquid has to be used, water alone, water with lemon juice. It would seem to me that adding any liquid would ruin a roasted tomato for purposes of storage.


Ok, Miguel...clearly you already know more than I do about home canning...I certainly don't have any expertise on that...if anyone else reading this discussion has the necessary experience and knowledge about home canning, speak up!

Hi Stephen,
After looking at your post, I want to hide mine. Even though they came out ok at 35o for 40minutes, I didn't get juicy meaty taste of store bought ones. Next time I am definitely going to follow the true and tested method, prepare them like the way you did.

Hi Indira...thanks for stopping by...I think yours look good, but that the end product is just different from mine, and would have different uses...yours are more of a dried tomato (which I love and use frequently) while mine are roasted but not dried (they were very juicy when done)...anyway, thanks for looking in at!

Thanks, Stephen, I'll look for those yellow tomatoes, too.


Hi Stephen,
My sister Kalyn sent me to you (and a Veggie Venture) to learn how to roast tomatoes. They are roasting now and I can't wait to try them. Yum.

Hi Stephen,
Just thought I'd let you know I'm trying to link to this and I can't get the permalink to work for some reason. I just typed it manually, but I thought I'd let you know.

Hi Stephen,
Hate to tell you this, but I put in the permalink you sent me (and double checked when it didn't work) but when I click on it in my post today, the permalink url comes up at the top of the page, but your current post shows instead of the roasted tomato post. No idea why, I am completely stumped. Please check it and let me know if you have any idea how I can fix it. I am completely baffled.

Miguel and Stephen re: Home Canning Tomatoes.

I'm no expert but my understanding is that you have to be very careful canning tomatoes because of lack of acid. Yes, lack of! I had to hunt down several sources to confirm that.
My first thought is, why not throw them in the freezer? Since living up north for 14 years, I pretty much cook in bulk for the freezer and then use as required.
If you put them in self-closing freezer bags and kept them fairly "thin" and flat-ish, just pop the frozen square bag in a bowl of hot water while you prepare other ingredients and you'll soon have your yummy roasted tomatos ready to go. I've never roasted them myself but am putting this on my list for next year...we're literally in the deep-freeze of winter here now.

Can you process roasted tomatoes to use for later use in winter? If so could you please tell me how to do it?

Freeze roasted tomatoes for later use in winter.

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