This is a recipe for roasted tomatoes, which kind of sounds like it’s a recipe for tomato confit. But it’s not as we don’t really cook the tomatoes low and slow. We created slightly charred, melt-in-your-mouth tomatoes that can be spread on bread or remixed into Pasta al Pomodoro 2.0.
The garlic can still be easily squished with the back of a spoon and used as a base on bruschetta. We also wanted these to take less than an hour to cook. This recipe checks all of those boxes.
This is for the folks that like their food sometimes almost burnt and saucy. The folks that say ‘Confit? Great, is it jammy?’. These are lightly charred, oozy, almost jammy roasted tomatoes. They can be used as a topping, side, pasta sauce, or garnish. Truly the list is endless.
When cooked properly these tomatoes taste like the almost burnt bits that sit at the bottom of the pot. You know the ones you and your family fight over? I guess in Italy they say ‘fare la scarpetta’ which means make the little shoe. Read more about that here.
Also, this is the recipe where underripe, overripe, and kind of awkward tomatoes can shine!
The Type Of Tomato
We used cherry tomatoes from our garden for this recipe. Cherries certainly present the best if serving this at a dinner party or as an appetizer. However, this is also a great way to use up all those stragglers that somehow end up abandoned in the vegetable bowl. Leave them whole as you want the juicy interior to stay intact. Later you want the tomato to almost collapse in on itself.
If you’re using bigger tomatoes cut them in half and place them flesh side down if you want this to be saucier (which is kind of the point). Place them flesh side up if you want them drier. Larger tomatoes may take longer to cook.
In order to prevent burning it may be best to roast at a lower temperature for longer before increasing the heat. Also, for larger tomatoes be sure to wedge any rogue pieces of garlic under the tomatoes. Basil should also be tucked in.
We like to roast the tomatoes until they’ve collapsed in on themselves but can still be scooped up somewhat whole with a spoon. Make sure the exterior is slightly charred and the liquid in the pan moves slowly. This means the tomato flavor has been concentrated into sweet juicy bites.
The Type of Pan
We know some folks are precious about their cast iron skillet and will say ‘tomatoes aren’t touching my baby’. Fair, very fair. But we personally love roasting tomatoes in our cast iron as it lends a depth and evenness in cooking that’s simply unmatched.
When we let the tomatoes rest we do leave them in the pan for about 50 minutes and then transfer them to a bowl. We then rinse and treat the pan immediately. We have a feeling the amount of olive oil used tends to do a pretty good job at making sure the cast-iron skillet stays in its best form.
Slightly Blacken The Roasted Tomatoes
We love an almost burnt vegetable (well technically fruit in this case). There’s something about the almost crunchy texture, to juiciness, to the melty texture that makes us want to do a happy dance around the kitchen.
The key is cooking the tomatoes at a lower temperature in the beginning and turning the heat up later in the cooking process. However, if this makes you nervous you can continue to cook the tomatoes at a lower temperature then broil towards the end. Do not walk away while the tomatoes are broiling as they will easily burn.
Let The Roasted Tomatoes Rest
If you skip this step you’re doing a disservice to this recipe. So please, please let the tomatoes rest! This will not only give them the opportunity to cool down but also get all nice and jammy. And that’s what we want.
How To Use Roasted Tomatoes
My personal favorite is tomato toast for breakfast or as a snack. I highly recommend you give that a whirl. Giuseppe will eat this on bruschetta as an appetizer or for aperitivo. You can also use these jammy tomatoes as a tomato sauce, a side, or dare I say topping for ice cream? Let us know how you use them!
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