Working in my bedroom has its perks. It takes less than two seconds to be in my office. I never forget my phone at home (though I have lost it under the bed on occasion). And, when I end up with 15-pounds of vine-ripened tomatoes, the house smells like a warm summer afternoon.
The other week I was supposed to make appetizers for 50 people. There were going to be chicken skewers with peanut sauce; cheddar scallion scones with jalapeno-honey butter; fruit caprese sticks; and opened faced sandwiches with slow roasted tomatoes, whipped goat cheese, and balsamic reduction. I was pretty excited.
And then the party went a different direction.I froze most of the chicken. Luckily, I hadn’t yet bought the fruit or mozzarella. The goat cheese could keep for a bit. But the tomatoes, they needed some love and attention. They needed a good long tan in a 200-degree oven.
The smell of them – it was intoxicating. I kept leaving the house just so I could come back in again. Even though it was winter and it wasn’t tomato season at all – a long roast turned those babies into little round bites of concentrated sweetness.
I ate some. Quite a few “somes” actually. But when you’re dealing with six full racks of tomatoes, you can only eat so many. Now, my freezer is stocked with those slow roasted beauties just waiting to be turned into sauce, pesto, and soup.
Yeah, working in my bedroom has its perks. If you don’t work from home, these are a great weekend recipe – very little hands on time and all sorts of reward.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
4 lbs tomatoes (Vine-Ripened or Romano are good choices)
1 TBS olive oil
Spices of choice (see spice ideas)
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half (slicing through the stem area). Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle spices, and toss to combine.
Re-arrange with even spacing, cut side up. Roast for 5 – 7 hours, until tomatoes have shrunken in size and you can’t help yourself. Eat as is; on sandwiches; pureed with garlic, basil, and pine nuts for a thick pesto; tossed with pasta; pureed into a sauce or soup; with mozzarella for a fantastic winter caprese; or however your heart desires.
Simple: ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper
Spicy: ¼ tsp chili powder and 1/8 tsp cayenne
Different: ½ tsp cumin and ½ tsp coriander
From Molly Weizenberg: ½ tsp salt and 1 TBS cardamom
From Cooking Light: ½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp basil, ½ tsp oregano, and ½ tsp pepper