Monday, March 03, 2014

300 For 3 Hours

I have a favorite recipe for this dreadful time of year.
Oven roasted tomatoes.
They taste like concentrated summer and you get to have the oven on for hours.

Horrible, hard, under-ripe roma tomatoes are cheap in late February and early March.
On Saturday morning a whole case was $8 at the Rochester Public Market.

Start by giving them a nice warm, soapy bath to remove pesticides and any crud.
You can see that a lot of them are still greenish pink - not too enticing.

Rinse and drain.

Get out your biggest roasting pan.
Lop off the tomato tops then quarter them and throw them in the pan.
I like to use a serrated knife, the tomatoes are so hard and nasty that it's what works best.

Pour on a little bit of olive oil, I am guessing that I used about 3 tablespoons in this monster pan.
You don't need a lot oil, just enough to coat them.

Sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper and a teaspoon or so of brown sugar.
The little bit of sugar seems to help them start to caramelize.
Stir everything around with a spatula until all the tomatoes are shiny with the oil and good stuff.

Into the oven at 300 degrees for about three hours.
This is what they looked like after one hour - all steamy and juicy.
Times can vary radically depending on how watery the tomatoes are and how many are in the pan.

Here's what you're aiming for - a gorgeous caramel edged tomato goo.
You want lots of brown, but no burnt. Watch carefully at the end.
I cannot describe how good your kitchen will smell when they're done.

This stuff combats the winter blues and can raise the frozen dead.
Spread it on toast, toss it with pasta, eat it warm out of the pan with a big spoon.
Add it to soups, layer it a toasted cheese sandwich, put it in a spinach salad or inside an omelet.

Pack it up and put it in the fridge - it will last for about two weeks because of the salt.
From that huge case of tomatoes I did five pans of tomatoes and made about four quarts of heavenly, concentrated tomato goodness.

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