When I was young, tomatoes were up towards the top of my Most Hated Foods list. My mother once paid me $20 to eat a slice of one (a slice). I did it, but I definitely did not enjoy it. But then I grew up, and I developed those “mature taste buds” that everyone was telling me I’d have eventually. And I realized that tomatoes are quite delicious.
OK, confession: I still have a bit of a neurosis when it comes to tomatoes. See, I’m not sure I believe that any of our taste buds “mature” (in the strictly biological sense), as much as I think we all give in to trying things we’d shunned in our younger years, to avoid being that person. And so, I had to deconstruct my childhood enemy The Tomato and figure out what exactly it is that I don’t like about it. The answer: those gross, slimy, seed-ridden guts. Ick. And I’m glad I figured it out, because now I can enjoy things like these roasted tomatoes!
This is pretty much the perfect use for all of those smaller tomatoes you’ve got hanging around that you have no other use for. It seemed like my roma tomato plant turned into a monster overnight. And as I was driving several different stakes into the soil and tying up the endless branches laden with oddly-small tomatoes, I was saying to myself, “dude, what are you going to do with all these things?” They’re too small for sandwiches. I’m feeling too lazy for sauce. Oh wait, cut them in half and throw them in the oven? Yes.
FYI: Roasted tomatoes = stupid good. With all of the garlic and basil I added, they taste like little bite-size bits of the most delicious tomato sauce. I had plans to use them on a pizza, and I had to hide them behind a bunch of other, annoying-to-move things in the fridge to keep myself from snacking incessantly. I can’t wait to get back to my freakish tomato plant in Vermont and make some more!
- lots of small tomatoes (I used roma/grape tomatoes, though anything small would probably work)
- garlic, minced
- basil, minced
- olive oil
Place tomatoes in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. You could also throw in the basil and garlic at this point and toss to evenly distribute those, but I wanted to make sure that I got every little bit of garlic and basil inside of the tomatoes. To do this, I arranged the tomatoes, cut-side up, on a baking sheet. I then pushed them all together to make sure nothing could fall between, sprinkled the basil and garlic over them, rearranged them to be evenly-spaced, and put the sheet in the oven.
Bake for about an hour and a half or more (depending on how large/small your tomatoes are, and how “roasted” you want them to be). I prefer mine to be closer to sundried tomatoes. They were quite small, and I took them out after an hour and a half. Just check them after about an hour. When they look perfect to you, take them out. Eat them on anything! Pasta, pizza, with cheese and crackers, by themselves . . . whatever you like! They will make most anything taste even better. :)