Summer Tomatoes

It’s been a good gardening summer in large part due to the abundance of rain (until this month) and moderate temperatures, and even though our garden is small, we have more tomatoes than we can keep up with. In the past I’ve canned and frozen tomatoes and various tomato products, but this year I’ve been experimenting with a couple of new ways to capture that fresh summer tomato taste. Since tomatoes are really coming on at the same time we’ve just started back to school, I’ve been looking for the quickest ways to do this. So this year we bought a dehydrator and have made several batches of dried Romas. Then this weekend I made some slow-roasted tomatoes and – wow – they are scrumptious, not to mention amazingly simple! Here’s how to do it:

First, cut your tomatoes (in half for Romas or other very small tomatoes, thirds or quarters for larger ones), then place skin side down in a baking dish which has been sprayed with canola oil. Drizzle with olive oil and season as you desire (salt, pepper, basil, oregano, etc.) I also sprinkled with minced garlic. Place in oven at 200 F for about 6-8 hours. You will know they are done when the house smells deliciously tomatoey and the fruit has a slightly browned, caramelized appearance. They may be slightly crisp on the edges. I placed my tomatoes in single layers in freezer bags and froze to use during the winter when we are hankering for that fresh taste of “real” tomatoes.
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