I have been eagerly waiting to post this recipe for a week now. It goes hand-in-hand with my post on Dedham Rocks, so you see, I’ve had to keep it to myself. It hasn’t been easy. Why?
Because this recipe will change your life.
Or at least, the way you look at cherry tomatoes. Same difference.
A few days after we made it and I was finally getting to finish my Bon Appetit (the Restaurant Issue!), I noticed that they had a recipe for it as well. Maybe it’s becoming a thing. Maybe you even already know about it. Or maybe you are just looking for something to brighten up what appears to be a hopelessly grey day. You’ve come to the right place.
I was given the recipe at the farmers market with such fervent recommendation that I knew it had to be made and soon. The recipe is courtesy of the lovely ladies of The Neighborhood Farm, who have the most intense variety of garlic I have ever seen. If this recipe alone hadn’t already secured my undying love and awe for them, their devotion to garlic most certainly would.
[Yes, that is 8 different varieties of garlic. 8.]
There are almost too many reasons to make this right now. It makes your house smell like an Italian grandmother’s kitchen. It’s pouring down rain and you have no intention of stepping foot out of doors. It will make a meal to rival any you would ever get at a fancy schmancy restaurant. You have no idea what to do for dinner.
Alright, I suppose I’ve kept you waiting long enough. Ladies and gentlemen – To your ovens!
Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Imagine the most intense sun-dried tomato you possibly can. Triple the flavor punch, and you have these. Over the course of the day, the fresh and bright little tomatoes become juicy, succulent gems of garlicky goodness.
Ingredients & Prep:
- about 2 baking pans (should fit side-by-side in your oven)
- 2 of the same tupperware lids + serrated knife
- double the amount of cherry tomatoes that you consider rational for as many people as you are serving (or however many you bought)
- 4 – 5 cloves fresh garlic (you can use more if the cloves are small; I used a whole small bulb, 5 cloves)
- olive oil for liberal drizzling
- sea salt + pepper
Let’s do this.
Preheat oven to 200 F. Low and slow, baby, low and slow.
Chop your tomatoes in half. Here is how I do it:
- Find 2 matching tupperware lids and a serrated knife. If your tupperware drawer looks anything like mine, then that first part can be a bit of a trial; I’ll wait.
- Place as many [washed!] tomatoes as will fit within the lid’s edge.
- Place the other lid on top of the tomatoes with the flat side facing the tomatoes.
- While you gently push down on the lid with one hand to keep the tomatoes firmly in place, take the serrated knife and cut through the middle of the tomatoes with a sawing motion. Be careful not to cut any plastic. I usually find if I watch it come out on the other side it’s more even.
E voila! Now you can cut pints upon pints of tomatoes, grapes, or whatever else is about that size in minutes! I know, I know, it’s a powerful feeling. This is probably the most useful thing I learned from the restaurant. Ahem. Moving on.
Make a single layer of tomato halves in each pan.
Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper (freshly ground is the way to go). Drizzle (liberally) with olive oil so that each tomato is glistening. As my mother said, they should be sitting in the oil – not swimming.
Roast in the oven for 6 – 8 hours; I like 7. They will shrivel up to about half their original size, but what they lose in size they gain in flavor, and then some.
We have eaten them over roasted spaghetti squash, atop pesto and mozzarella bruschetta, with fresh pasta and zucchini, and straight outta the pan.
They’ll keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks in a jar or tupperware with their roasting oil, or you can freeze them in a freezeable [duh] container after covering them with their oil and more as needed for up to 6 months.
But I have sincere doubts that they will last long in your house. They certainly don’t in ours.
It might be raining hard and fast – but low and slow is where it’s at.