Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Since we moved into our house a few years ago, we’ve tried to grow as many of our own vegetables as possible. We still have a lawn, but we’ve re-purposed most of our borders from growing flowers to producing fruit and vegetables. Why, we asked ourselves, settle for a pretty shrub, when we can have a shrub that is just as pretty – but also bears fruit in the summer? When we needed shade, we bought fruit trees and grape vines. Where we needed ground cover, we planted strawberries. Where there was lots of sun, but little water, we planted drought tolerant herbs.
We’re not experts at it by any means. We have our successes and failures, but we do have a few basics that we can depend on that do well, though not necessarily spectacularly, every year, like broccoli or kale. Then there are others that are more unpredictable. Last year we could hardly keep up with the strawberries, this year it’s tomatoes.
I don’t know if it’s the hot, sunny weather we had this year, or if we’ve done something different that we aren’t aware of, but this year we’ve had more tomatoes than the previous three years at least. The plants have nearly taken over the border they are in, and it’s been a trick trying to keep up with all the tomatoes.
We’ve been managing though, and I’ve been getting a lot of experience with different ways of preserving tomatoes. The first thing I tried was making tomato sauce. I peeled, pureed and simmered all day. I ended up with two pint jars of tomato sauce, but it took me all day and at least for me, it seemed like a lot of work.
The next thing I tried was just peeling, putting into freezer safe jars and popping them in the freezer. This was very quick and easy, and since I was up to my elbows in tomatoes at the time, quick and easy was a bonus. As far as how good it is, I’ll know better when I eventually go to use one of the jars.
The third thing I tried was oven roasting. This has been my favorite so far. I used the roma tomatoes, and simply sliced them in half, spread them on a baking sheet, drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them with herbs and garlic, then roasted them at 325 degrees until they were nicely done – about 3 hours.
It’s even easier than freezing, and I already know they taste amazing. I have a few ideas of things to do with them – if they ever last long enough to do anything with them. Somehow they always seem to end up being eaten…
What’s your favorite thing to do with a bumper crop of tomatoes?