I’ve had roasted tomatoes on my mind, specifically plum tomatoes. First I enjoyed them with brunches at The Blue Rooster Bakery & Cafe in Cranbury. Then I saw a recipe in Canal House Cooking. So I’ve been playing around with different versions at home and they are very simple and handy to have on hand (and you can freeze them too).
This is something you could even make with winter tomatoes, and is one of the best ways to bring out what little flavor those have. (In winter, I think plum tomatoes, or maybe grape tomatoes are the best bet from the market, but those round pale pink ones I just don’t bother with.) But this time of year, you’ll want to buy the best tomatoes you can find at your farmers market – if the late blight hasn’t killed them all (sob).
Preheat oven to 325°. Cut plum tomatoes in half lengthwise (I don’t bother to core them), and lay them cut side up on a shallow pan. Salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle them with finely minced shallot. Drizzle with olive oil. If you want to add herbs, you could use a dried mixture such as herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning. Or a little fresh thyme, savory, whatever you like (and maybe keeping in mind the flavor profile of the dish you’ll serve them with.)
Bake for about 1½ hours, until they’re looking “squishy” and the tops are somewhat browned. There should be nice juices bubbling out of them (a non-stick pan makes cleanup easy). Remove from oven, cool, and use at room temperature or reheated. Make a batch of these on Sunday, and have a handy vegetable side in the fridge ready for weeknights.
In the photo here, I’ve made another of those homey Italian dishes I love so much, pasta (Barilla Plus), pancetta, a fried egg and the tomatoes plopped on top. What you see here has already been tossed around a little, because, as I always seem to with this kind of dish, I dig in before I remember to take the photo!