I seldom throw out old tomatoes. I often end up with cherry tomatoes that are just beginning to shrivel. Or beefsteak tomatoes that are beginning to soften. They seem un-useable, but actually there’s nothing wrong with them, except for the texture — as long as they haven’t started to rot in spots.
I usually have an abundance of tomatoes in my kitchen — various varieties depending on the season. I try to keep cherry tomatoes around to snack on; the super-sweet grape tomatoes are particularly satisfying when that nosh-bug hits but you’re not really hungry. Occasionally I end up with more tomatoes than I can consume … I guess I by-pass the tomatoes and head to an ‘alternate’ snack more often than I realize!!
When they begin to wrinkle I gather them altogether in a bowl or large pyrex (which will make this a “one-dish” dish, which I love!), slice up a large sweet onion, throw in some whole garlic cloves, whatever sort of chili pepper I have on hand (fresh jalepeno or serrano, whole dried chilis or chili flakes), add generous amounts of olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and roast in the oven.
Once roasted, I divide the the resulting sweet tomato roast amongst 1/2 and 1 cup containers and store in the freezer. Roasted tomatoes are wonderful to have on hand as a base for pasta sauce, to serve with grilled chicken, as one of the ingredients in my chili, or to use as a Tomato Tapenade on crostini topped with Cheese. Just to name a few uses …
OVEN ROASTED TOMATOES
This is really one of those, “use whatever you have on hand” kind of recipes. If you stock your pantry or freezer with various pre-made ingredients, pulling together a meal is always easier.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Tomatoes — cherry tomatoes left whole, larger tomatoes cut into medium-sized chunks
1 large Sweet Onion, (large purple onion will work just fine .. or leeks, for a sweeter finish)
6-12 whole Garlic Cloves, peeled
Chili Pepper, OPTIONAL — if using fresh chili chop it after removing the center seeds, if using whole dried throw it in as is for easy removal after roasting, and if using chili flakes sprinkle on 1/4-1/2 tsp depending on the quantity of tomatoes and the desired heat
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp fresh Pepper
Cover with tinfoil and roast for 30-40 minutes.
*Cooking times will vary according to the amounts being roasted.