The Last of the Tomatoes

quarters with smashed garlic

Click here to go to the recipe

We still have tomatoes in Northern California but not for much longer. On each of my last several trips to the Sunday farmer’s market, I’ve brought home three or four pounds of dry-farmed early girls. I’ve been roasting and freezing these small tomatoes so we’ll have some after the harvest ends.

I no longer buy canned tomatoes. I dislike the taste, I avoid packaged food and I avoid BPAย (it’s in the plastic that lines most cans).ย I have long fantasized about forgoing my refrigerator (not exactly Fifty Shades of Grey) but until then, I’ll stuff the freezer section with delicious roasted tomatoes.

My boss Rhonda told me about the following incredibly easy method forย roasting early girls. If weย share a 20 pound box of not-so-pretties sometime in the next couple of weeks as planned, I should be able to enjoy tomatoes until after New Year’s.

tomato scale

Ingredients

  • Small tomatoes
  • Garlic (optional)

Directions

quarters with smashed garlic

  1. Quarter tomatoes or halve if very small. Arrange on a Silpat-lined cookie sheet. Smash garlic, if used, and sprinkle over top.

UPDATE: I have forgone the Silpats. I just place the tomatoes directly on the cookie sheet.

roasted tomatoes

  1. Slow cook at low heat, around 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or longer if necessary, until softened, sweet and roasted.

tomato jars

  1. Transfer to jars when cool. The jar on the right is larger than the other two (it’s hard to make out from the photo). I would say altogether, my near 3 1/2 pound reduced to about 36 ounces, about 12 ounces per pound. I used the middle jar last night in shepherd’s pie. OMG it was good. If freezing, leave an inch or two at the top of the jar for the tomatoes to expand.

pumpkin seeds

You really know you’ve almost reached the end of tomato season when you can roast pumpkin seeds and tomatoes in the oven at the same time.

Happy fall!

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • Small tomatoes
  • Garlic (optional)

Directions

  1. Quarter tomatoes or halve if very small. Arrange on a cookie sheet. Smash garlic, if used, and sprinkle over top.

  2. Slow cook at low heat, around 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or longer if necessary, until softened, sweet and roasted.

  3. Transfer to jars when cool. If freezing, leave an inch or two at the top of the jar for the tomatoes to expand.

16 Comment

  1. My aunt Jodi dehydrates cherry tomatoes. Have you tried that? They are really good, kind of like tomato candy. ๐Ÿ™‚ These tomatoes you roasted look-a.maze.ing! ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. Thanks for the comment ๐Ÿ™‚ I have dehydrated sliced heirloom tomatoes and those tasted like candy. I can just imagine what dehydrated cherry tomatoes would taste like. They would be fantastic. I’m going to look for some at the farmer’s market next week. I may still be able to get them. The great thing about dehydrating and slow roasting is they are totally hands-off. You just let the oven or dehydrator do the work.

  2. Becky says: Reply

    I’ve got a box sitting in the kitchen I need to deal with – I think it’s my next to last box. I’ve made pizza sauce, salsa, canned a few cases of them straight up and I’ll cram what I can into the freezer.

    1. Yum. I have a really good pizza sauce recipe. I hadn’t thought of making that. I would love to make some salsa too. I’m fermenting hot peppers right now and wished I had thrown in some tomatoes but I used them all up. I think I still have a week or maybe even two…

  3. I love that idea! I have roasted them to dehydrate them and they are good, but the possibilities available from having the taste of roasted tomato sitting in a jar are endless. Thanks for the great idea.

    1. You’re welcome. I will tell my boss ๐Ÿ™‚ These tomatoes are very versatile and delicious. This fall and winter I’ll find more uses than jars of tomatoes, I’m sure. I dehydrated some earlier in the season and they tasted like candy. So good!

  4. chris says: Reply

    Roasted tomatoes are one of my favorite foods. They’re so simple but so good for you, and they work well in so many other dishes or just on their own ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. They make your home smell great too while you roast them ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. These look mouth-wateringly delicious. Our tomato season has only begun (in as much as my seedlings are only now being planted) but I cant wait to give your recipe a try ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh nice. I know it’s late in the season here to post a tomato recipe, but I know for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s early, so I went ahead and posted it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think you’ll like these tomatoes. The flavor is intense. No canned tomato can compare. Good luck with your seedlings and happy planting!

  6. For whatever reason, we *still* have tomatoes on the vine over here, too! I never grew them in CA but I’m a little surprised your season is ending already…isn’t it still warm over there? Or maybe it’s also a function of daylight? For us, it’s the pollinators moving on as well. Two weeks ago, we still had a yard packed with bees. I noticed this week they were almost gone. Yikes! Is this another sign of a cold winter coming?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Well I think they will be at the market for another week or two, but that’s it. It’s been really warm during the day (too warm) and really cold at night. I hope you don’t have another crazy winter. I guess shoveling is good exercise though. (Haven’t done it for a while myself though…)

  7. Vickie says: Reply

    How long can these tomatoes be frozen?

    1. Hmmm…that’s a good question. We eat them all before they ever get funky, so they are all gone after about four, maybe five months. If we didn’t eat them all, I would guess more like nine months. I don’t think they will go bad in the freezer, just develop a strange consistency.

  8. Oh yes, those look marvelous. I usually make lots of tomato sauce/soup with any extra tomatoes I can get, but I’m definitely going to try roasting and freezing some this summer. Thanks for the tip!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      You’re welcome! Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

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