It’s been a great summer for tomatoes here in western Pennsylvania! Our CSA farm share brought us 27 tomatoes and 18 tomatillos last week, and 38 tomatoes two weeks ago. We expect to get more tomatoes today!
We learned several years ago that roasting in seasoned oil makes tomatoes taste great, take up less space, and last longer. After making a batch of the usual Italian-flavored roasted tomatoes two weeks ago, I decided to try some new flavors on last week’s tomato deluge. Having multiple flavors makes us feel like they’re different foods, so we’ve been able to eat more tomatoes than we would if we were just eating them plain.
Meanwhile, Daniel figured out how to make tomatillo salsa just by guessing, and it’s really good! Tomatillos are one of the vegetables the farm has given us that we probably wouldn’t have bought on our own. Over the years, we’ve usually either given them away or looked up a recipe that we tried and then never wanted to make again, so it’s great to find a simple way to make tomatillos tasty!
We had more of all this stuff, but we ate a lot of it before I got around to taking photos. 🙂
I’ve simplified my method for roasting tomatoes:
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Trim stems of the tomatoes and remove any rotten spots.
- Take out the biggest clumps of seedy pulpy stuff. Eat them.
- Cut tomatoes into bite-size pieces.
- Use a separate baking pan for each flavor–glass or ceramic pans, if possible. If you only have metal pans, you may want to line them with parchment paper to prevent the acid in the tomatoes from reacting with the metal.
- Drizzle olive oil into each pan until the bottom is about 80% covered.
- Add seasonings (see below) to the oil.
- Mix diced tomato into oil and pat it down into a single layer. (If you have way too much tomato for the number of pans you’re willing to wash, you may want to roast multiple batches in each pan.)
- Bake for 10 minutes. Stir. If they are beginning to brown, bake another 5 minutes before you check them again; otherwise, give them another 10. Keep baking until they look very cooked and smell delicious!
- If not serving the roasted tomatoes immediately, store in a glass jar in the refrigerator, or freeze: Let cool, scoop into a sturdy plastic bag, squeeze out all the air, seal or put a rubber band around it, and place in the freezer.
- Make sure to eat the delicious oil left in the baking pan! Soak it up with bread, or toss leftover cooked rice into the pan and stir it around to pick up the oil, if you don’t have any better ideas.
- If you have trouble removing blackened tomato juice from the pan, try this frugal scouring powder!
Three Flavors of Roasted Tomatoes
In addition to the serving suggestions below, any of these is delicious as a topping for scrambled eggs!
Mix dried or fresh shredded basil and oregano, crushed garlic, and salt into the oil. Also add parsley and/or black pepper if you like. You might want to roast some onions, bell peppers, and/or mushrooms along with the tomatoes.
Serve over pasta, maybe with some mozzarella cheese.
Mix chipotle or regular chili powder, cumin, and salt into the oil. Also add cayenne pepper if you like. You might want to roast some bell peppers and/or onions along with the tomatoes.
Add to burritos or tacos, or puree with beans and serve as a chip dip.
Mix yellow curry powder, coriander, crushed garlic, and salt into the oil. Also add a dash of cinnamon or ground cloves or chili sauce if you like. Add some extra turmeric if you need pain relief–yellow curry powder contains some turmeric, but this recipe can accommodate more of it very tastily.
Toss into a bowl with cooked lentils (we used green lentils boiled with garam masala and butter; these can be baked instead), fried onions, coconut milk, and cilantro. Eat with naan bread, or be ethnically inconsistent and use pita bread or a toasted flour tortilla. Or you could put rice in the bottom of the bowl.
Dice tomatillos, sweet bell pepper, and green onions. Quantities do not have to be very specific, but aim for approximately equal amounts of tomatillo and pepper, with about half as much onion. Also add cilantro and/or a hot pepper or some hot sauce if you like.
Sprinkle with apple cider vinegar, lime juice, and sea salt. Mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust as desired.
Add to burritos and tacos, use as a topping for fish, or just dip it up with chips.