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.
Oh, wow, I really have to try this one... I usually roast a good portion of my tomatoes but not with the garlic... will definitely have to add the garlic!... thanks for sharing... come visit when you can...
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
There's nothing like the aroma of slow-roasting tomatoes! I always cut mine in half to roast them, and I top with garlic from a neighbor's garden and thyme from my own. I pack in small plastic bags to freeze them, or pack them like you do, in a jar covered with olive oil, for refrigerator storage.
City Share says
Wow, I love the idea for a grow your own event. I look forward to seeing the results. I have roasted lots of tomatoes, but I have always used them up within a day or so. I'm going to try freezing them in olive oil. Thanks for the idea!
Wow, I can't believe it's been three years since Grow Your Own started! That sure did go by quickly. I love slow roasted tomatoes; just the smell alone is enough to make it worth the time to roast them.
The pervasive aroma of roasted tomatoes is the number one thing I look forward to every summer.
Christine@ Fresh Local and Best says
Andrea, your photos are stunning! This is slow roasted method is my favorite method of preserving the bumper crop of tomatoes.
Great info! Love your photography! I hope you will submit this (and more) to http://www.FindingVegan.com
I just found your site today. This looks amazing. I've been trying to can my tomatoes, but with the little one around it's tough to get it all done. This sounds delicious and easier to do. What exactly would you use these for later? Would you use them in like tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce?
Not trying to be thick, I've just really tried to focus this year on planting things we would use and storing things in a manner we will actually use. Too many years or too many jars of pickles. 🙂 Look forward to your reply.
Hi Jackie. Yes, slow-roasted tomatoes add lots of flavor to spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, hummus, and they also make a great substitute in recipes that call for sun-dried tomatoes.
As I'm reading this, I'm also roasting tomatoes, but never thought to freeze them. such a great idea.
Nate @ House of Annie says
I sure wish we had some homegrown tomatoes to slow roast. Alas, that will have to wait until we get back to tomato-friendlier environments.
I'll send along my GYO entry tomorrow!
I adore slow-roasted tomatoes...the flavor is so intense! These are gorgeous =)
Denise | Chez Danisse says
I always roast my tomatoes skin side down, but this is the second time this week I've seen the roasting done skin side up. I just put a cookie sheet in the oven with all of my tomato halves positioned per your instruction. Can't wait to taste them, but as we know, hence the name, there will be quite a wait. Oh well, it's worth it.
Do you seed the tomatoes?
Hi Anna. No, I leave the seeds in the tomatoes.
Thanks for the recipe - it motivated to do something really simple with my 1/2 bushel of San Marzano tomatoes. I did the first batch for 8 hours at 250F as directed, they turned into "sun-dried" tomatoes. Going to use them just as they are, they are so delish. I then tried the next back at 250F for 3 hours. Much better! Made a beautiful passata with them.
These came out both beautiful and delicious! A question -- Is it totally necessary to remove the skins if I'm using them for pasta? Or can I leave them on?
Hi Deborah! I'm so glad that you like the tomatoes. You can absolutely leave the skins on.