I owe this inspiration to Linda, who started working with me this past summer. She has used her amazing cooking skills to make real food the base of her fat loss. She looks amazing and is a master of juggling her demanding job and a wonderful family. Her family opened a cute little bistro in Bistritsa (just out of Sofia) , that has become a favorite to all my friends. If you live in Bulgaria, visiting Sage is a must.
Linda originally logged slow roasted tomatoes in her menu together with a tasty Ricotta loaf, that I will soon make again, because I miss it so much. She suggested I just roast some halved tomatoes for 3 hours at 325 F.
My first attempt failed miserably, because all I had was huge ripe pink heirloom tomatoes and they were too juicy, so I ended up with lots of clear liquid and some floating tomatoes. I should have used some common sense, choosing less juicy tomatoes, but sometimes you just have to learn the hard way.
My recent slow roast inspiration comes from my boyfriend, who is both a great cook and a risk taker for trying my recipes. This Christmas, he got me an amazing book, called the Improvisational Cook, that I have been reading in awe. The book was very very specific about the different types of tomatoes you can use for slow roasting, so I have been experimenting. I used some small tomatoes from the farmer's market the other day and now I have some pear tomatoes and quartered Roma tomatoes in the oven.
I am lucky to be in California, where there is an abundance of flavorful, delicious, sweet tomatoes. I find that my new slow roasting tomato abilities will be even more fitting once I go back to Bulgaria and all I have is greenhouse tasteless tomatoes. Slow roasting condenses flavor and adds a deep earthy feeling to your tomatoes, giving you an entire new food to work with. If you love sun dried tomatoes, you will see how much slow roasted appeal to you.
To make slow roasted tomatoes, choose non juicy smaller size tomatoes, like plum, pear, or what you can find from your local farmers that is small and not very juicy.
You would ideally use 2-3 lbs of tomatoes at once. Preheat you oven to 325 F while you split tomatoes in half. Place on a baking dish and sprinkle with a hint of sea salt, some black pepper and drizzle with some olive oil. Place in the oven and cook for 3 - 3 1/2 hours. If you use smaller tomatoes, like cherry or pear, you can cook the a bit shorter. Monitor the color closely, since tomatoes are not consistent in how they slow roast at the end.
Once they cool off, you can store the tomatoes in a jar in the fridge up to a week.
You can use those tomatoes in sauces, salads, soups, roasts, dips, tapas, pasta sauces and garnishes. There are unusual uses for them, like tomato jam, which I am about to make this afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed, tomatoes are fruit after all.