Monday, August 30, 2010

Roasting Tomatoes = Homemade Sauce!

Last week, a new friend gave me the idea to roast tomatoes.  I never thought of trying it myself, but it sounded good.  When I bought some roma tomatoes from the farmer's market, my farmer told me the chef from a local restaurant bought roma tomatoes to roast.  His way was to slice them in half, put them in a 300 oven for 3 hours then store them in the fridge until he needed them.  It didn't sound too unlike what my friend told me to do.  So today, I did it.  EASY!

I preheated the oven to 350 and sliced the tomatoes.  It took longer for the oven to preheat than it did to prep the tomatoes.

I sliced the tomatoes in half, drizzled them with olive oil and added salt, pepper, garlic, basil and oregano.

I roasted them at 350 for 1 1/2 hours, and it smelled fabulous in here!  Better than the pizza joint!

After cooling so I could handle them (and put the tray on a glass table top to take a picture), I put on some gloves, peeled off the skins and put the tomatoes into a bowl, which took 11 minutes to do the one tray plus 11 halves from a second tray.

Since I had gloves on and didn't feel like getting out my mixer, I spent about 3 or 4 minutes squeezing them to eliminate chunks.  A mixer would've been quicker for sure, but it was fun to feel the tomatoes squish through my fingers.  And the more I squished, the thicker it got.  It ended up looking like this, in a 2 quart bowl:

My total "work" time was about 17 minutes and I have this awesome sauce!  I did need to add some extra salt and I could've been more generous with the basil and oregano, but this will be fabulous to use in some soup recipes this winter.  And maybe spaghetti tonight with chicken from the grill!

Hey!  It might also be great with some roasted veggies from the farmer's market: zucchini, mushrooms, onions, peppers....mmmmmm!

UPDATE: Opted to freeze all of it in 1/2 cup bags for use later.  (It came out perfect!)  Most recipes call for 15 oz or 28 ounces, so some soups will have a little extra tomato and some will have a little less.

Have you ever roasted tomatoes?  Tell me what you did.