How to roast tomatoes



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September is the month for tomatoes – they’re at their peak, ripening on their vines and overloading bins in farmers’ markets. One of my favourite ways to preserve them is to roast them – in fact, roasted tomatoes often beat out fresh in salads, sandwiches and atop pizza. Having released many of their juices, they wind up more concentrated forms of themselves, with caramelized edges to boot. The only problem with roasting tomatoes is keeping myself from eating them all straight from the pan.

If you start with plum or Roma tomatoes, you’ll have more flesh and less juice to work with. Fortunately they also tend to be the cheaper variety, and more consistent, size-wise. Choose those that are blemish-free and ripe – a little squishy or wrinkly is fine. Cut them all in half and place them cut-side-up on a foil or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. (For easier clean-up later.)

Drizzle them with olive or canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated 450F oven for half an hour, or until they start to soften, release their juices and darken on the edges. If they looked cooked but aren’t caramelizing on their edges, turn the heat up to 500F for a few minutes.

You can store your roasted tomatoes in jars or other containers in the fridge or freezer – if you like, cover them with olive oil and add a clove of garlic. Roasted tomatoes are delicious straight-up, atop a grainy salad (try them with lentils and barley), pureed into soup or pasta sauce or atop pizza – they taste like fresh tomatoes, without making your pizza watery.

Enjoy tomato season all winter long!

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