It is safe to say this is my favorite time of year. It’s certainly not the heat and humidity I like, but rather the things that summer time brings. You know, things like cantaloupe, peaches, and especially homegrown tomatoes.
Tomato season doesn’t last nearly long enough for me. It seems like I wait all year for that first ripe tomato, and then before I know it Jack Frost has come along and wiped out all the vines. But we have ways of preserving the tomato harvests so we can enjoy them all year long. And one of my new favorite things to do with tomatoes is slow roasting them.
It may seem crazy to even think about heating up the oven in summer when the temperature outdoors is soaring, but these tomatoes are worth it. Besides, the oven is set so low that you will hardly notice it’s on.
Like dehydrating, slow roasting concentrates the flavors of the tomatoes, even turning notoriously bland supermarket tomatoes into tasty little morsels. But when you use homegrown, vine ripened tomatoes, well, then your taste buds are in for a real treat!
You can sprinkle them with salt and pepper or herbs before roasting, or leave them plain like we usually do. Unlike dried tomatoes that need to be re-hydrated for many uses, these tomatoes are ready to go as is. They keep for about a week in the refrigerator. And they can be frozen for later use – if you don’t eat them all first!
And what can you do with the finished product? These tomatoes are great in any pasta dish, or on pizza, or with vegetables like green beans, broccoli, squash or spinach. They will perk up any egg dish like an omelet or frittata. Or you can always just pop them in your mouth and eat them like candy. Healthy tomato candy, that is!