Oven-roasting summer ripe tomatoes is a great way to bring out their sweetness! Meaty Romas are the best variety for oven roasting, but anything soil-grown and vine-ripened will do the trick. We eat these with poached eggs, on a sandwich, or folded into hot pasta with chopped herbs and grated cheese. They keep for about one week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them and use them this winter in a roasted tomato soup or pasta sauce.
Makes approximately one quart.
3 pounds sun-ripened tomatoes, preferably Romas
5 unpeeled garlic cloves
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
Pre-heat oven to 325 ºF. Wash tomatoes and slice in half length-wise. Place them cut side down on a rimmed cookie sheet (a.k.a half sheet pan) lined with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone baking mat. Tuck the garlic cloves and herbs among the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for one hour, remove pan from oven and carefully turn each tomato over so it is cut side up. Bake for another 45 minutes and check on them. I f you want to cook them longer, lower oven to 300 ºF and cook another 30 minutes. The tomatoes are done when they are shriveled but still moist.
Allow them to cool completely and store, along with garlic and any accumulated liquid, in an airtight container.