Oven-roasted tomatoes are very versatile. More succulent and flavourful than regular tomatoes, but less chewy and intense than sundried, they are delicious on pasta, pizzas, salads and sandwiches.
Unlike many other fresh ingredients, gentle heat enhances the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing the amount of lycopene that can be absorbed by the body, as well as the overall antioxidant activity.
I use smaller varieties – sweet, tangy San Marzanos are my favourite – so that the drying process doesn't take hours and hours / I can eat them ASAP. If you wish to process larger fruit, follow the method below but leave them in the oven slightly longer.
When you've finished eating the tomatoes, don't discard the flavoured oil; it's wonderful as a salad dressing or drizzled over freshly-baked, crusty bread.
Half a clove of Garlic
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
2. Wash and pat dry the tomatoes.
3. Slice each tomato in half from the top to the bottom.
4. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and brush with olive oil.
5. Position the tomatoes, cut side facing upwards, on the baking tray.
6. Season with salt and freshly-ground pepper.
7. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and roast until the tomatoes have started to colour at the edges and you can hear them sizzling, about ten to fifteen minutes.
8. Turn the oven down to 140ºC (285ºF) and leave the tomatoes to roast for another 45 minutes.
9. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and leave to cool completely.
10. Once cold, transfer the tomatoes to a glass jar and pour olive oil over them until they are submerged.
11. Add half a clove of finely chopped garlic, a pinch of dried oregano, and a few thyme leaves to the jar.
12. Leave the jar in the refrigerator overnight to let the tomatoes infuse with the garlic and herbs.
Kept in the fridge in an airtight container, they will last for three days.
200g | 1 hour