Monday, October 19, 2009

Red and green

Around here Fall brings much colder temps. I dont like it. I have been doing garden clean up for a couple weeks now and in amidst this came the last batch of vine ripened tomatoes.

My friend, gnightgirl, has been raving about her slow roasted tomatoes. How they are so fantastic and that she uses them all winter long in chili, pasta sauce, and pizzas(just to name a few).

Okay. Well I need to try that, too. So, along with my last harvest of san marzano tomatoes, I get out all that I will need.

Once you have washed your tomatoes, you slice them in half. Straight down thru the stem.

Then, you coat them in olive oil and whatever herbs you desire. I used basil and oregano.

After that, find a baking sheet and place them cut side down. I actually sprayed mine first with some cooking spray.

Place in a 250 degree oven for 6-8 hours.

This would mean that mine would be done at:

In the meantime, my basil that I have been drying is all set to be stored. See how it looks kinda brown and crispy....thats good.

My trusty kitchen helper has offered to help. But first, he had to get his stool.

And drag it into the kitchen.

We put the dried basil into the food processor.

And grind it up. You can grind it as coarse or as fine as you prefer. G? He would have preferred very fine, I think...for as much as he liked to push the button on the processor.

Then, after you have it all ground up, you transfer it to an airtight container.


Between this small tray and what I had drying downstairs we ended up with about 6 cups to use over the winter.

Back to the tomatoes, tho. When they are all done they will look like this. (At the end of the cooking time you can remove the tomato skins if you want to. I found that to be a bit time consuming, so I just left mine on.)

Now, you can pull them out of the oven whenever you prefer really. You dont have to let them roast the whole time. It really just depends on how you like them. I didnt want mine super dry and leathery, so I took mine out early. In fact, my tomatoes were pretty small since it was the end of the season and from start to finish I think it only took them about 5 hours to get to where I wanted them to be.

He likes them, too!

As far as storage....well, this was my first time making these. I was worried that since my tomatoes were still a bit moist that when I went to freeze them that they would all stick together in a big clump. S suggested I flash freeze them. I had already been allowing them to cool on sheets of wax paper. So, I simply put my tray of tomatoes in the freezer for a few hours. At that point they were fully frozen and I took them off the wax paper and put them into a freezer bag.

Now, just like gnightgirl, I can have yummy, roasted tomatoes all winter long. And this will make her happy cuz then I wont have to ask her to share.


CeeCee said...

I love that G is right there in the mix and then tasting the tomatoes when they're done.
So glad you have produce to 'put up'. All I can do is cross my fingers for my garden next year.

Farmer Jen said...

Those tomatoes will be very tasty in all of your winter meals. Nice photos.

Diane said...

Looking forward to some meals with those maters! said...

Those roasted tomatoes look and sound heavenly! And just look at all that wonderful basil you'll have through the winter! And G really needs to get some of those socks off the door knobs and put them on his feet. Those little piggies look cold!

warren said...

I am glad you warmed us to what you were doing slowly...if you would have shown the completed tomatoes first, I think I would have called the cops and reported you for committing some horrible crime.

Lucky for you...

Anyhow, they look great. And btw, do you use *that* much basil? Impressive...looks like you had a good haul this year!

Sue M. said...

Thank you so much for this post! I'm going to try this in a couple of days. Will it work also for cherry tomatoes? Assuming that you reduce the cooking time...

Love G taste testing the final product! He is way too cute. My grandbaby, almost 18 months, loves tomatoes. She heads for the garden every time she comes over, and picks some.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Ok. I have a question. Being primarily a fresh and raw tomato gal myself, what will you do with all those roasted tomatoes? Are they primarily for pasta sauce? Do you add them back into all the jars of tomatoes you canned?
And that's a whole lotta basil! My fingers smelled so good after I pulled my dry leaves from the stems. Mmmmmm...made me think of hot summer days again. :-)