Try roasting to capture the summer crush
Posted on July 23, 2018
Peak season for local tomatoes starts in July, when shelves and countertops get piled high with heirloom and other homegrown varieties. When you have had your fill of juicy BLTs, tomato and burrata salads, and slabs of tomato on grilled burgers, it’s time to look for another way to embrace the abundance of ripening fruit. Below is an easy method for roasting leftovers. There are always a few gems that may have ripened up a bit more than you like, and I have few suggestions for what to do with them.
First, roast a huge batch of tomatoes and use them in different dishes all week long. I usually roast everything on the grill or in my wood oven, but it’s just as easy to use a conventional oven. Make sure to get a good blister on them; it will deepen the flavor. They can get so sweet I have actually added a touch of sugar and served them over vanilla ice cream. It may sound odd, but it’s delicious. At Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant, the chefs make a delicious honey-thyme ice cream, and a little roasted tomato jam on top would make for a stellar summer dessert.
Once they are roasted and cooled, keep them in the fridge for up to a week. I store them in a Ziploc bag, lying flat in the fridge so I don’t over-crush them — not until it’s time to make soup. You can also use these to make bruschetta on buttery, grilled bread. Toss them with angel hair pasta, fresh basil, and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake them on the top of focaccia bread. Make them into an easy soup by blending the rest with vegetable stock. The ideas are endless. Terryl Gavre, owner of Cafe 222 and co-owner of Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant; breadandbutterismyjam.com
Peak of Summer Roasted Tomatoes
3 pounds ripe heirloom or other
3 variety tomatoes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375º. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Gently squeeze out most of the seeds and juice, but it’s not necessary to get it all. Lightly toss all ingredients together in a shallow bowl. Lay the tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Roast for about 20 minutes. Then, rotate the pan, and turn the oven up to 425º and roast for another 10-15 minutes until caramelized. Use immediately or allow to cool before placing in refrigerator.