Saturday, June 13, 2009

Roasted Roma Tomatoes - Preparation, Uses and Sauce

I have a love of most things tomato, and if I could find some genuine San Marzano tomatoes that don't break my food budget I would keep them in stock. I have also been duped by store bought sun dried tomatoes that yield a touch outer skin that takes on a concentrated unyielding quality that is most unappetizing. I love the intensity of roasted tomatoes that I don't always get with a home made marinara sauce. I love my marinara sauce, but these yield a different result.

Roasting tomatoes is certainly not original, but takes several hours, so if you are a quick and dirty cook you would not be interested. There are a few steps that yield something wonderful: (a) slicing, and seasoning (2) roasting for several hours (3) passing through a food mill (optional)

I use Roma tomatoes because they are abundant most consistent in quality at local produce markets. I have not experimented with any other variety and I am no purist when it comes to other varieties that may yield similar results. Because of the time they take to roast I generally cook two dozen at a time.

Roasted Roma Tomatoes Preheat oven to 175F - 200F

In an oiled ovenproof pyrex or ceramic dish place:

24 Roma tomatoes, split lenghwise, drizzle with
2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and sprinkle with
2 t. kosher salt

Herbs (this is optional depending upon the time you roast, because they can burn)

Cooking time:
3 hours when using in a roasted tomato sauce (200F)
5 hours when trying to approximate the consistency of sun dried tomatoes (175F)