When the season's bounty of tomatoes comes in, tomatoes find their way into everything: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don't mind because there's nothing better than fresh-from-the-farm tomatoes. Now that the season is waning, I'm suddenly hooked on roasted tomatoes.
Today's recipe started out as a desperate attempt to make late-season tomatoes taste like their earlier cousins with the bright taste of sunshine in every bite. I threw in some garlic for good measure, knowing how wonderful garlic mellows at high heat with salt and olive oil. Honestly, I was surprised at how amazing these tomatoes turned out. It all seemed too simple for the complex flavors. Another beautiful thing about this recipe is that every batch is slightly different, so boredom never sets in.
I continue to roast a batch every time I get tomatoes on special or a neighbor drops some by. Any type of tomato will roast, but the timing for this recipe is based on medium tomatoes. Yellow, orange, or red, they all roast up full of flavor and excitement.
If you've never tried roasting fresh tomatoes, give it a whirl. I serve them as a side - straight out of the oven - or spin them in the food processor and make a quick sauce. Either way, it's a great way to enjoy tomatoes as their season comes to an end. Until next year.
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Oven-Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic
6 medium tomatoes, about 3 pounds, washed, dried, stemmed
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon honey, or more to taste
Start to finish: 35 minutes
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Spray a baking sheet that has at least 1-inch sides with cooking-oil spray. Place washed and dried tomatoes stem side up on the baking sheet. Add garlic. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt (concentrating a majority into the small dip in the top of the tomatoes).
Roast 20 to 25 minutes, until the skins are split. Remove from the oven, and let cool for five to 10 minutes. If desired, with a fork, lift the larger pieces of skin from the tomatoes and discard.
If serving as a side dish: Place the tomatoes, garlic and juices, and oil from the pan in a medium bowl, and chop coarsely. Add honey to taste.
If serving as a sauce, transfer the tomatoes, garlic, oil and juices to a food processor. Add honey, and pulse to mix and chop. Taste and adjust honey, if desired.
Yield: about 3 cups (for 6 servings)
Approximate values per 1/2 cup: 58 calories (37 percent from fat), 2.5 g fat (trace amount saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g dietary fiber, 390 mg sodium