Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tomato-palooza? Roast Them!

The tomatoes in our garden are pumping out ripe fruit so prolifically, the only way to keep up with the output is to roast them. These beauties are Green Zebras:

Roasting is one of the tastiest ways to prepare an overabundance of tomatoes. Just slice them in thick (1/3-inch) circles (for tomatoes smaller than a golf ball, simply cut them in half).

Place the slices on a parchment-paper lined jelly roll pan, then drizzle them with olive oil and a little freshly cracked black pepper. (I prefer not to salt them at this point, so that if I want to add them to an already salty dish--say, something with feta cheese in it--the tomatoes won't overwhelm the salt level.)

Roast the tomatoes at about 375 degrees Fahrenheit until they are totally soft and their edges are brown and caramelized.

They may not look gorgeous, but the flavor is heavenly. The roasting concentrates the "tomato-iness" and turns them into soft but chewy little circles of deliciousness.

Scoop the roasted tomatoes up with a spatula and keep them refrigerated in a covered dish. If you aren't going to use them in the next day or two, pop the roasted tomatoes in zip-style plastic bags and keep them for up to several months in your freezer.

I tucked some roasted red tomatoes today in my quesadilla for lunch: fantastic! Other uses for these tasty bites: toss in hot pasta and add shaved Parmesan cheese for a quick dinner. Dot the roasted tomatoes on top of a pizza for the last few minutes of cooking time. Drop them into a vegetable soup. Chop them up and mix them with softened cream cheese or Greek-style yogurt for a quick dip or sandwich spread. Put them into a hearty casserole or stew, come this fall.

Or just open the fridge and snack on them, as is.

Pure yumminess!

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