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Roasting Tomatoes That Will Be Eaten Whole (not used for sauce or stuff like that)

September 4, 2013  —  Written by Chris 

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You know what I love about roasted vegetables? The fact that you could be talking about anything when you say that. What kind of vegetables? Sweet potatoes? Green beans? Broccoli? Doesn’t matter, as long as they’re roasted. But perhaps one of the least roasted vegetables of all, is the tomato.

So why don’t people roast tomatoes very much? Could be a number of things, but for me it’s the water content. As soon as you start roasting them, they start releasing their juices and get kinda soupy. Not exactly the texture you’re looking for when you roast. But there’s a time and place for everything, and I’ll give you a couple pointers for roasting tomatoes that will be eaten as-is, not put in a sauce or whatever.

First, if you’re gonna roast other vegetables with tomatoes, don’t do starchy veggies like potatoes. The beauty of a roasted potato is the crisping that takes place, and the liquid from the tomato just turns it to mush.

Second, get your temp really high. Like, 425-450. Otherwise you won’t get any browning and it’ll just be warm tomato goop.

Third, try to either use cherry or grape tomatoes, or dryer varieties like Roma. Giant slicing tomatoes often have a lot of liquid, and roasting those could turn into a mess (unless you’re doing stuffed tomatoes, in which case you remove the watery insides anyway).

My parents stopped by the other day and gave me a bag full of cherry tomatoes, so here’s what I did with them:

This is pre-roasted. Here’s what you see:

• 15-20 Cherry tomatoes
• 2 Yellow squash, sliced into 3/4 inch pieces
• 5 inches of onion stem, sliced thin and separated into rings (that’s what I call the part of the onion just above the bulb, but below the green. you only really have that with fresh onions from the ground, so if you don’t have those then just get some scallions and use the white/light green part)
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
• kosher salt
• fresh cracked black pepper
• 1 Tbsp Olive oil (not extra virgin)

Put your empty roasting pan in the oven and preheat to 450. While that’s heating, toss all your ingredients in a bowl and after your pan has heated for 10 minutes or so, put your veggies straight on the hot pan and spread it evenly, putting the pan back in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes, opening the door every few minutes and shaking things around. If you don’t have any blackening after 15 minutes, kick the broiler on high for a little. The tomatoes should start popping and getting little black spots. Once done, serve immediately, because they aren’t good if they get cold. Check it:

That’s all she wrote. I find that yellow squash handle the liquid from the roasted tomato better than most vegetables, including green zucchini. What do you think would go well with a roasted tomato? Share your ideas and let’s use up the end of summer harvest!

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  3. Those all sound awesome. I’m definitely gonna use your idea to make some rockin’ toasted cheesers.

    Thanks Amy!

  4. Amy says:

    I love roasted tomatoes! I roast as many as I can and eat some of them warm from the oven like candy, then I stir some in with pesto, pasta and chicken, or put them in a fancy grilled cheese (last night was gouda, bacon, and roasted tomatoes). My all time favorite though is roasted tomatoes on top of mozzarella and avocado on grilled bread. oh goodness. its ridiculous :)

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