We are now coming to the end of the tomato season in the garden. I love not having to buy tomatoes for weeks on end, and I especially love that virtually every bite of tomato over that time is full of delicious, rich flavour.
We’ve discovered that growing tomatoes outside in Britain, means growing cherry tomatoes if you want to be sure of them ripening. Don’t get me wrong, I love green tomato chutney and even fried green tomatoes, but nothing beats the taste of ripe red tomato fresh off the vine.
However, we had so many tomatoes this year, that it became necessary to find some way of storing them for less abundant times, and one of my favourites is Slow Roast Tomatoes, topped with olive oil and stored in jars.
I’m not providing measurements with this recipe, as it depends on how many tomatoes you have, but I was using about 3lb.
Slow Roast Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry or larger varieties of tomato
Dried basil and oregano
Fresh Basil Leaves
1 tsp sugar
Salt and black pepper
Pre-heat the oven on a very low setting 140C/275F/gas mark 1. If using cherry tomatoes, pierce a hole in the skin, or cut larger tomatoes in half or into quarters.
Place all the tomatoes onto a large roasting pan and pour over enough olive oil to coat them. Sprinkle with the herbs, sugar and salt and pepper and stir around to mix.
Place in the oven for 3-4 hours. You can cook the tomatoes at a slightly higher temperature for a shorter time, but the slower roasting really brings out the flavour. Also I like to raise the heat for the last half hour of cooking.
To store the tomatoes, wash some jars and put them in the oven to sterilise for at least ten minutes. Take them out and put 1 – 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in each jar to preserve the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes when they have finished cooking and add more oil so that the tomatoes are completely covered. Put the lid on tightly and store in a cool, dark place.
These make a wonderful pasta sauce, a delicious addition to a salad, or served as an alternative to ketchup with burgers!