Three years ago I started looking for a food blogging event for those who garden, hunt, forage, or raise their own food, and when I couldn’t find one I decided to try starting it myself. I didn’t know if any other bloggers would be interested, but as with many things, I just kind of tossed it out there to see what would happen, and here we are now getting ready to celebrate the third anniversary of Grow Your Own. To all of you who have participated, hosted, or just enjoyed the recipes and stories from all the bloggers over the last three years, thank you. I hope you have enjoyed the event as much as we have. And if you haven’t had a chance, check out the July Grow Your Own roundup from Kitchen Gadget Girl Cooks.
We began slow roasting our homegrown San Marzano and Roma tomatoes a couple years ago, and I started with a recipe from my friend Alanna at Kitchen Parade, tweaking each time we roasted another batch, and finally settling on the process described below. The flavor is amazing, and I don’t say that lightly. It’s rich and condensed and when added to other recipes it makes those good things taste even better. The roasting process is long but the active portion is not, so you can start these on a weekend morning and have them ready in the late afternoon while still getting other things done. We pack them in the small Ball plastic freezer jars, top them off with a little more olive oil, then freeze.
I hope you will join us for the third anniversary of Grow Your Own. Participating is simple and we think it’s a lot of fun to see what other people are growing, foraging, hunting, and raising. If you are new to the event, you can read more about the rules for participating at the Grow Your Own page. Please send your blog post information to me by August 31, and I will post a roundup of all the dishes a few days later. Happy growing and cooking!
- half-sheet baking pan
- small freezer containers, such as Ball plastic freezer jars, 8 ounce size
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 pounds Italian paste tomatoes (halved (Roma or San Marzano work well.))
- 1 head of garlic (peeled)
- Preheat the oven to 250° F/120° C.
- Brush 1 tablespoon of the olive oil all over the bottom of the baking sheet. Sprinkle on the dried basil, black pepper, and kosher salt.
- Place the tomato halves face down on the baking sheet, keeping them close together. Scatter the peeled garlic cloves amid the tomatoes. Drizzle on the remaining olive oil and add a little more pepper if desired.
- Roast in the preheated oven for about 8 hours. The tomatoes will shrivel and caramelize a bit. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Slip the skins off and put the tomatoes plus any pan drippings in the small freezer containers. Top each container with a little more olive oil, then seal tightly and freeze. Will keep for up to 6 months.