My Recipe Box

Slow-Roasted Summer Tomatoes


Yields about 24 tomato halves.

  • To learn more, read:
    Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 66

Slow-roasting, which caramelizes and intensifies the flavor of tomatoes and gives them a meatier, more robust texture, is a perfect way to preserve these summer gems. Once you've roasted the beefsteak tomatoes, they'll keep in the freezer for months.

If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can use another fresh hardy herb like oregano or rosemary—or leave it out altogether.

  • 3 Tbs. plus 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-1/2 to 5 lb. medium-large ripe beefsteak tomatoes (about 12), stemmed but not cored
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Scant 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
Don’t use unrimmed baking sheets or the oil and juices will spill out; instead, use ­several shallow gratin dishes if you don't have rimmed baking sheets.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12x17-inch rimmed baking sheet or two 9x12-inch rimmed baking sheets with foil. If you have parchment, put a sheet on top of the foil. Coat the pan or pans with 3 Tbs. of the olive oil.

Cut the tomatoes in half through the equator (not through the stem). Arrange the halves, cut side up, on the baking sheet, turning to coat their bottoms with some of the oil. Sprinkle a pinch each of salt and sugar over each half, and drizzle each with a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Arrange the garlic over the halves and top with a generous sprinkling of thyme. Pour the remaining 1 cup olive oil over and around the tomato halves.

Roast in the center of the oven until the tomatoes are concentrated, dark reddish brown (with deep browning around the edges and in places on the pan) and quite collapsed (at least half their original height; they will collapse more as they cool), about 3 hours for very ripe, fleshy tomatoes, about 4 hours for tomatoes that are less ripe or that have a high ­water content. Let cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes and then serve warm or at room temperature. Be sure to reserve the tomato oil (keep refrigerated for up to a week) to use on its own or in a vinaigrette.

Quicker-cooking variation: Remove the seeds and gelatinous pulp (poke them out with your fingers) before roasting. These tomatoes cook more quickly (check for doneness after 2 hours) but yield a slightly flatter, less meaty—but perfectly pleasant—result.

Plum tomato variation: Substitute plum tomatoes, cut in half through the stem end and seeded. The roasting time will be about 2 hours. Roasted plum tomato halves hold together particularly well; layer them in a ­terrine or roll them up, stuffed with goat cheese and basil, as an appetizer.

Make Ahead Tips

To store the tomatoes, refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to a couple of months. They’ll continue to ­release juice during storage.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per tomato half, Calories (kcal): 70, Fat (kcal): 5, Fat Calories (g): 30, Saturated Fat (g): 1, Protein (g): 1, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3, Carbohydrates (mg): 5, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 290, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten - I only make it with garden tomatoes and I could eat the whole pan. I first came across the recipe several years ago in Fine Cooking magazine, and am glad it gets re-introduced once in a while. It's a winner.

Delicious!! great for pasta or chili or sammies....totally whatever. Roasting them made the flavor that much more intense :)

Golly. 350 for 3-4 hours? Mine were completely burned after 2 hours. I'm a decent cook with a consistent oven. Anyone else have this issue?

Absolutely delicious! Made this for lunch today with the over-ripe heirlooms in my garden. So easy. I did not cut off any of the "funny" brown lines that heirloom tomatoes usually get and it didn't matter at all. My house smelled amazing all morning long. I will be making this again and again. I'm wondering if I will be able can them in a jar instead of freezing? Would I need to add lemon juice or citric acid to the jars? Anyone know?

Absolutely delicious. Had about 12 pounds of heirloom tomatoes to use and wanted to find a recipe that would preserve them (I can't eat that much in a week and DH can't eat tomatoes). This was delicious. Had a slice on pesto/asiago bread. Would be great on many breads. Will have to try with goat cheese, etc. I did have questions - in case anyone can answer. The heirlooms I used had those brown lines and indentations. I tried cutting them all out first, which left me with some halves that were more like chunks barely connected by a thread. Should I be removing all those browned skin areas? Any recipe ideas for the tomato oil? How long does it last? Can it freeze? Should it be refrigerated? Thrilled to have this recipe to use that bounty of tomatoes in late summer.

I use this recipe every growing season. I have a ton of green tomatoes - I am going to try it out on the green ones. Let you know how it goes.

I, too, have been making this recipe ever since it first appeared. I have "stacked" the halves, sometimes alternating red and yellow tomatoes, in pretty jars, canned them, and given them as gifts. Another way to use them is to put several halves in the blender with some chicken broth and finish off with cream or half-and-half and additional herbs to make a terrific soup. If there is oil left after canning, I use it in dishes where it provides a great accent flavor.

This must be one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten! I've always loved the sundried tomatoes you can buy in supermarkets, but this is the real thing. I just wanted to use up some tomatoes that were getting overripe, and stumbled upon this. They just came out of the oven, and they are just fantastic. Out the door now for some more tomatoes... Two things I would like to add though. Mine were very much done after 90 minutes of cooking at 150 Celius (that's a bit cooler than the recipe). And I've just put the tomatoes under the oil from the sheet in an jam jar, that seems a better idea to me than to freeze them.

I have been making these with my homegrown heirloom tomatoes and I cannot express in words how good they are. Easy to make. Worth the time. I use them on pizza, in pasta, as an appetizer with goat cheese. This year I used half the amount of olive oil to pour over the tomatoes and they came out perfect. I just did not have as much left over tomato oil.

Everyone who has had these has wanted the recipe. They can be used in so many different ways. Our favorite is on lightly toasted French bread with a little goat cheese and warmed roasted tomatoes. They freeze well, and are a real treat in mid-March

These tomatoes are wonderful! We freeze the tomatoes after roasting and then use them throughout the winter for sauces or appetizers. We roast the "ugly" heirloom tomatoes when we have too many to eat at the end of the summer. They are incredibly sweet. I am about to slow roast some plum tomatoes and freeze them. Should be excellent for sauce.

I have been making these every summer since this recipe was first printed in Fine Cooking. They are truly incredible. I usually chop them up and add fresh basil and toasted pignoli nuts. Spread some goat cheese on toasted French bread and top with the tomatoes - delish!! I have also used them on pasta, too. Very versatile.

For the last three years, I have used these for an appetizer on many occasions!I spread cream cheese or boursin on a crostini and top with the tomato. It is always a hit!

We loved this! I didn't have a heavy rimmed pan handy so I used 2 stacked together and the tomatoes still cooked more qickly in only 3 hours. We ate them as a side with bread and warm goat cheese the first night and used the leftovers over pasta 2 nights later. And the house smelled awesome. This is a favorite from now on!

Ths is a terrific recipe. I can turn so-so tomatoes into a wonderful condiment.

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