Slow-Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

Tomates Confites

[Slow-Roasted Tomatoes]

I’ve been wanting to make my own tomates confites for a while, especially after eating and tremendously enjoying the semi-dried tomatoes I posted about recently.

And then in the tranquility of a Sunday afternoon, I spotted a few roma tomatoes lying lazily on our kitchen counter, getting contentedly riper and riper, quite unaware of what was coming to them. I took them by surprise, and condemned them, I’m afraid, to a slow death in the oven. But at least they were all together. And well seasoned.

I chose to season them with salt, pepper, and chili pepper flakes, but no dried herbs: I wanted to make “plain” tomates confites, and add my choice of herb when using them in a dish. Contrary to what some recipes have you do, I didn’t skin the tomatoes before roasting (wasn’t the oven enough of an ordeal to go through?) because I enjoy the taste and texture of their skin.

It took three hours to get mine to the consistency I was looking for, where their edges wilt and curl, but there it still the memory of plump flesh.

Slow-roasting concentrates the tomato taste in a subtle and mighty pleasant way, and accentuates their summery sweetness. And because slow-roasted tomatoes freeze well, it’s a fine way to preserve a possible glut of garden tomatoes.

Tomates Confites

- ripe roma tomatoes (or similar variety, firm with little juice)
- fine sea salt, freshly ground pepper
- chili pepper, ground or in flakes (optional)
- dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano… (optional)
- olive oil

Preheat your oven to 100°C (210°F).

Halve the tomatoes, and run your thumb in the cavities to remove the juice and seeds (save and filter the tomato water for drinking). Roma tomatoes have a very thin stem that you can leave in, but if the tomatoes you’re using have a tougher stem, carve it out.

Place the tomato halves, cut side up, on a well oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, ground chili pepper, and dried herbs if using. Drizzle with olive oil.

Put into the oven to bake, keeping an eye on them, for 2 to 3 hours depending on the variety and the desired consistency. Use warm or cold in pasta, salads, sandwiches, spreads, etc.

To freeze without clumping, arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a clean baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and place the baking sheet in the freezer. After a couple of hours, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe container. (Save the parchment paper for another use.)

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  • http://gastroblog.com Jackie D

    Yum, I will definitely have to do this!

  • Adele

    My daughter and I call these “Tomato Candy”. We like them slightly drier, with a little brown around the edges. Have had great success throwing a few stems of fresh thyme across the tomatoes as well. They make great companions to quickly sauteed spicy shrimp.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Adele – What oven temp do you cook yours at and how long? Fresh thyme sounds great, and my neighbor has a pot of lemon thyme on her window sill, so I may try that next time!

  • http://www.obsessionwithfood.com Derrick Schneider

    These remind me of a funny story (well, funny now; it could’ve been disastrous). I was slow-roasting some tomatoes at one point, and the process takes 4-5 hours. So I left to do other things. Unbeknownst to me, my flame went out, so I came home to an apartment that reeked of gas. I plopped the cat into the bathroom, and then opened all the windows.

    This is why I no longer leave the house when I’m cooking things at low temps.

  • alistair

    Hi,

    we do the same thing each year with a lot of our toms. Some we dry to the stage you showed, others a bit drier (and with herbs). They freeze very well and can be chopped up when still frozen to add to sauces or pizzas etc.

  • http://www.twohotchefs.blogspot.com mystie

    I love oven roasted tomatoes as we call them here in California. They are awesome chopped in any salads, and sauteed with vegetable side dishes, the uses are endless. This is a great simple variation. Thanks!

  • http://www.toomanychefs.com Meg in Paris

    Clotilde, how well do these keep? Do you need to refrigerate afterwards and if so how long do they keep? I see one of the earlier comments mentions freezing, so I guess that is an option too. Thanks – I am definitely going to try this!

  • Adele

    I cook them at either 200 or 250, depending upon how much time I have. I cook them for about 1-2 hours, but have been known to sometimes speed up the process by raising the oven temperature to 275 or 300 for about 15 minutes. I doubt preparing a large batch ahead of time would work because I don’t have much willpower :~).

  • http://karen.catsudon.org Karen

    Oh, so mouth-watering Clotilde! I wonder if these would go well with some creamed garlic? Something like gramolano (sp?) dressing?

  • Samantha

    Thanks for the great idea Clotilde! We picked up some cherry tomatoes over the weekend that had very little flavor. I halved and seeded them, and after 3 hours in the oven they are perfect. I threw some into a stuffing for zucchini, and have been eating them plain too.

  • http://www.mesart.com/mschneider Melissa

    Ha! I’d forgotten about the story Derrick mentions above. I was thinking to myself while reading your post, “Ummm, will have to slow roast tomatoes soon.” Now I am warned to keep an eye on Derrick and the oven!

    I love tomatoes like you love zucchini, so I am always happy to have more ways to eat them. I used to have a garden where I grew as many varieties of tomatoes as I could fit: pear, cherries, romas, early girls, and on and on. All so delicious! I look forward to doing that again someday. :-)

  • http://kitschenette.typepad.com/redkitchen kitschenette

    mmmm, i love roasted tomatoes. instead of sugar, i use balsamic vinegar, which lends them a gorgeous caramelly sweet vinegary touch. the smell of them cooking is so wonderful as it drifts through the house. they are fantastic as a quick pasta sauce, squooshed onto bread with some blue cheese, onto grilled polenta with proscuitto, onto oat biscuits….the list is endless! yr pasta salad sounds great, esp. the chorizo! will have to try it.

  • Maryanne

    yummmm, I make these at the end of the summer with the surfeit of tomatoes from the farmers market and my own garden. To some of them I add anchovies, smushed up really well with olive oil, and then I actually preserve the lot of them, using little 4 ounce jars, with ring lids! They are perfect on a winter’s nite when you need a little sunshine. Just toss with fresh penne and a salad.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Derrick and Melissa – Scary story! I loved that you thought to put the cat somewhere safe first… And Melissa, all these tomato names sound so poetic, no wonder they were good!

    Alistair – Good to know about them freezing well, that’s convenient.

    Mystie and Kitschenette – Thanks for the suggested uses, they sound absolutely delightful!

    Meg – I’m not sure how long they’d keep, I would give them about a few days, I guess, like any cooked vegetable. They would probably keep longer if jarred in olive oil. Or, indeed, like Alistair said, frozen. Let me know if you try it!

    Adele – Thanks for telling me about your recipe, I’ll try your way too!

    Karen – Oh yes, definitely, these would be lovely with garlic!

    Samantha – I’m delighted you tried this already! It’s a good idea to do it with cherry tomatoes, then you can use them as is, no chopping involved!

    Maryanne – That sounds great! Do you sterilize the jars in any way, in a hot water bath or something? Or just close the jars and the olive oil keeps it from spoiling?

  • Samantha

    Hi Clotilde,

    Follow-up on the cherry tomato confites… worked wonderfully. We’ve been eating them on salads… and tonight I’m serving them with roasted eggplant and feta with a tahini lemon dressing as part of a larger middle-eastern menu. I actually slipped the tomato halves out of their skins once roasted… much easier than peeling them in advance!

  • BEcky

    Clotilde,

    The first time I did tomatoes like these I used grape tomatoes. They are a lot sweeter and the flavor is delicious. I just use salt, pepper and olive oil and give them a toss. Also, I had seen on a show one day a tomato soup using these with garlic, onions, fresh basil and chicken broth. I had to say MIAM MIAM when I made it!!

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Samantha and Becky – Thanks for sharing your experience with these! I also like roasted cherry tomatoes, I think they look particularly pretty, especially if you leave them on the vine…

  • http://swampophelia.motime.com Swamp

    oh my. i usually hurt when i read stuff like this because i love roasted tomatoes but i don’t have an oven anymore. i hurt of envy. i hurt because even when i did have an oven i refrained from doing this because i had people in the background telling me “rising gas/electricity prices!” isn’t there any way to simulate this using a grill? some trick somewhere to fake it? (ogling picture, ogling lotto so i don’t have to worry about people telling me that using the oven more than an hour is impractical…)

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Swamp – I’m not very experienced with grills : is there a way to put the grill on very very low? If so, you might want to try it that way : if worse comes to worse, you’ll have grilled tomatoes, and that’s excellent too!

  • Rainey

    Je viens de rentre à l”ordinateur de la cuisine! J’ai dû mettre des tomates au four. Nous les prendrons ce soir avec un rôti du porc et une sautée de la blette. Je ne peux pas les attendre!

    kitschenette (great name!), thanks for the balsamic tip. I have a bottle of truly outrageous, syrupy balsamic that I drizzled over the tops after I read your note.

    Maryanne, I have some of those 4oz. jars. I hope you read clotilde’s note and tell us how you manage the canning. Aside from sterilizing the jars, do you process or water-bath them? It sounds like a genuine treat for the cold tomato-less months.

    clotilde, je pense que j’essayerai de les préserver comme Maryanne a dit.Je mettrai les boîtes dans un bain de l’eau bouillant pendant 10 minutes. Que pensez-vous?

  • http://thelunchbox.blog.com kathy voyles

    Although I love slow roasted tomatoes baked with the fabulous one clove garlic bulb and rosemary (makes the whole house smell divine) if the weather forecaste is warm then Gazapho is a great way to use up tomatoes and there are many ways of making it. Enliven with thai chillies, holy basil, coriander, V8 veggie juice etc and chill overnight for a refreshing lunch. Oh, tomatoes chopped up with garlic on toast for breakfast in the garden. Sprinkle basil, thyme, borage flowers and goat’s cheese on top.

  • http://birchbarkfarm.wordpress.com Jill and George in Michigan

    Clothilde, this is an absolute must for us every summer. We add garlic slices to the halved tomatoes and remove some of the juice, and then bake them overnight, to get them really caramelized (lowest setting possible in the oven, ~170 degrees F). After that, we jar them up and cover them with olive oil, then process them in a water bath to seal them for storage. They are PERFECT for pizza, adding to sauces, smearing on a toasted bagel, etc. etc.

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