18 October 2011

The Roast of Tomato McPomodoro, esq.

Who doesn't love tomatoes (aside for those who are deathly allergic to them)? With over 7500 varieties, these chubby little red a55holes really seem to have latched onto our culinary apron strings* and permeated our digestible landscape like someone passing bad gas in an elevator, except it lasting 500 years.

Sometimes, I don't love them because 1) like rabbits, they multiply in such abundance during that short harvest period that you can't eat them fast enough, 2) there's only so much tomato sauce one can eat before imploding, and 3) you can't play Scrabble against them without making a mess.

[Oven-roasted tomatoes ready to eat.]

Luckily, you can roast these bastards down to size for later consumption through our barren winter months (though evidently, not barren of snowfall).

For three pounds (3-4 lbs) of fresh tomatoes (I used Romas as they are meatier and less juicy and because I had a buttload of them from the CSA basket, but you can use whatever you like —  adjust the roasting time).
  1. Clean them.
  2. Halve them lengthwise.
  3. Toss tomatoes with a generous spoonful of coarse salt, pepper,  +/- 3/4 cup of olive oil  as many cloves of garlic as you want (whole, or crushed or minced -- it doesn't matter cause the vampires won't come near them anyways).
  4. Spread them on parchment lined baking sheets with the cut side up (evaporates better). Drizzle with more olive oil. You will probably want to use parchment or aluminium foil because it's a biznatch to scrub clean otherwise.  
  5. Slow-roast them in the oven at 275F for about 2 hours or 300F for 1h45 or 225F for 4 hours —  it really depends on how patient and hungry you are, and how you like the tomatoes (burnt or less burnt).
  6. Once they're as done as you like it, let them cool, and then eat them. 
You can store them in jars and keeping them either frozen or storing them in the fridge (for up to a week, maybe two —  depends on how dry the fruits are).

* In the early 1500s, tomatoes (pomodoro) were introduced to Italy but used as Martha Stewareseque tabletop decoration because it was thought they were poisonous, and only the very poor Neapolitans ate them. Who's laughing now?

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