Wait just a minute, Fall. Tomato season isn’t over yet.
|Photo © Mars Vilaubi|
Farmers’ markets still have bountiful offerings, including fall items such as pumpkins and apples, but it’s the tomatoes that I continue to covet most. They take longer to get going here on the Maine coast, but once the plants start producing there’s no stopping them, and at my CSA, tables are laden with tomatoes of all types, sizes, and hues, from juice-squirting cherry and grape tomatoes, to meaty plum tomatoes, to gigantic, misshapen (and very flavorful) heirloom varieties. My favorite method of preserving these beauties is to spread them out on baking sheets, drizzle them with olive oil, and roast them slowly, a preparation that caramelizes their sweet juices, and captures and concentrates the flavor of summer.
Plum tomatoes are the classic choice for roasting, but any type of medium-large tomato will produce a fine result. To vary the flavors, add coarsely chopped garlic or chopped basil or thyme. Roasted tomatoes are very versatile: serve them atop crackers with softened goat cheese, stir them into heated cream and toss with pasta, or add them to salads, soups, or stews.
1½ to 2 pounds tomatoes
About 2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Core the tomatoes, cut into quarters, and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast, stirring once or twice, until tomatoes soften, give up their juice, and begin to caramelize, about 1½ hours. Scrape into a container and refrigerate for up to five days, or freeze.