If you garden in Western Washington, you know that you can never count on a big crop of tomatoes. You feel lucky most years if you get any to turn red at all. So, when my mom hauled down 15 tomato plant one day last spring, I didn't get too excited. In fact, I though it was probably a major waste of time and energy to try to raise that many plants, considering that last years crop was dismal to say the least. Little did I know that we would proceed to have our hottest summer in 20 years and that tomatoes would grow like weeds in 2009! I would not dare complain about having too many tomatoes, but I have been feeling pressure lately to use them all up before they get bad. I still have about 20lbs sitting in my kitchen right now and the clock is ticking, so if you live in the area, feel free to come pick some up.
I did discover a recipe last year that I loved for slow-roasted tomatoes. It is almost like sun-drying the tomatoes in your oven, but they stay juicy and are covered in olive oil and garlic. Once you roast the tomatoes, you can keep them in the fridge for a month. I've been putting them on sandwiches, pizza and using them as an appetizer with goat cheese. You can also make a divinely easy pasta sauce with them by just tossing them in the pasta of your choice with some additional olive oil and top with parmeggiano cheese or mozzarella.
The recipe I used was originally from Gourmet Magazine, but I have modified it a little to lighten up the garlic. I would also love any suggestions you might have on how to use up all my remaining red beauties.
4 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
4 garlic cloves, minced ( I put it in the garlic press)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 200°F.
Put tomatoes, cut sides up, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Combine garlic and oil and spoon over tomatoes. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper and roast in oven 6 to 8 hours (tomatoes will be reduced in size but will retain their shape). Cool tomatoes.