Roasted Tomatoes

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!

Roasted Tomatoes

  • lots of small tomatoes (I used roma/grape tomatoes, though anything small would probably work)
  • garlic, minced
  • basil, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt

Preheat your oven to 250°. Cut your tomatoes in half. De-seed them if you’re crazy (err . . . “particular”) like me.

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. :)


  1. says

    Ah, I’m playing hostess tomorrow, and I was all excited to make a rustic tomato tart (I gleaned amazing toms from Michigan this past weekend), but now I’m torn! I hope you don’t throw out the seeds. My favorite thing ever is to mix the seeds with some olive oil and salt and pepper and garlic and use as a spread on toast or sandwiches. It does make them less slimy, I suppose.

    • says

      Those seed guts went right into the garbage! :P I think I could see how that could be yummy, though. As much as they gross me out, it did seem like such a waste to just toss it all. Perhaps I’ll try that next time!

      Oooo, tomato tart. I’m sure whichever you go with will be delicious, but I will say that these things are seriously so unbelievably good. I had leftover garlic herb butter from making garlic bread, so I’ve been using that to butter toast and piling the tomatoes on top. MmmMmmMmmm <3

    • says

      Hi Allyson! That’s a good question. I haven’t tried freezing them myself since they disappear so quickly, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work. I’d suggest portioning them out into amounts you’re likely to use at one time, and then just sealing them up in individual freezer bags.

  2. says

    The tomatoes look amazing! I think this week will be the last week this season that I’ll see them at the farmers market so I’ve been thinking about ways to preserve a few. Any thoughts on how long they would last for (if I don’t eat them all straight out of the oven, that is)?

    • says

      I know! I’ve been eying the last of the tomatoes at the farmers’ market here too. :)

      Considering how dried-out they become from roasting, I would say that they could probably last about 2 weeks in the fridge. (Possibly more, but I’m super paranoid about bacteria!) If you do wind up with tons of them (yum!!), I would suggest freezing them in portioned-out bags.

      • says

        Great idea about freezing them. I think that is what I will end up doing with them when I get back from the farmers market today. Thanks again for the recipe!

  3. Sherron says

    I had to chuckle when I read that you throw the “guts” out. When I cut up tomatoes for guacamole or anything else where the juice and seeds are a problem, I just plop them into a bowl and then I …. eat them! They are delicious! Presuming your tomatoes have any flavor, of course … and why fool with them if they don’t. There is a lot of taste in those guts and I savor them. Don’t tell anyone, though … I don’t share them with anyone else & don’t want them getting jealous. ;)

    • says

      Haha! Oy, the thought of eating the guts straight from a bowl does scare me a bit. :P But I’ve actually been thinking about reserving them for other purposes, because it seems like such a waste to throw all of them away! My friend Whitney mentioned that she saves them and makes them into a dressing of sorts, which reminded me of a snack that I only know as “tomato bread”—you take a couple pieces of day-old, semi-stale bread, slice a tomato in half and rub it all over the bread, then grill it. So there are definitely uses for them, provided I can get over my neurosis!

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