Oven Roasted Tomatoes

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Simply the best (and easiest) way to preserve your summer bounty! Thanks to Lynn for sharing this recipe years ago, and to Joyce for all your canning tips over the years!

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1) Lightly grease a pan with olive oil, or if doing a large batch of tomatoes, grease several pans, as many as will fit in your oven racks. Any type of tray with sides is fine, including cookie sheets- don’t worry that it will bubble over the sides, I tested this and it doesn’t. The tomatoes take 2-3 hours to roast so it’s best to do large quantities. Or you could bake a tray in the oven while you’ve got a casserole or roast on the go.

2) Wash tomatoes, then core them. Chop the tomatoes in half or quarters if they are extra large, and assemble onto your baking sheet. Fill the entire baking sheet fairly snugly with tomatoes, but only one layer deep.

3) When the tray is full, drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil. Alternately you could spray them with a fancy-pants oil mister or brush the oil onto the tomatoes with a basting brush.

OPTIONAL: Infuse ¼ cup of olive oil (per oven rack of tomatoes) with a few cloves of crushed garlic and use to grease your baking sheets and drizzle over your tomatoes. Scatter the crushed garlic on top as well. You can also add whole cloves of garlic and sprinkle oregano, basil, parsley or other dried Italian herbs on top of the tomatoes. Also salt if you want. DON’T add fresh herbs- add them after roasting to preserve their fresh flavour.

Leave your tomatoes plain (no salt, garlic, or herbs) if you want an all-purpose base for use in place of canned tomatoes. (But they are definitely tastier with the extras- yum.)

4) Put all trays of tomatoes into the oven on evenly spaced racks. Roast for 2-3 hours at 300-350 until the tomatoes are browning on top and the liquid has begun to thicken. (You may need to experiment with this depending on your oven- I have found that 350 can be too hot, the tomatoes begin to brown and blacken before all of the water has evaporated, so I either roast for the full amount of time at 300 or start at 350 and then turn the oven down to 300 after an hour. A friend of mine roasts hers at 250 for a shorter duration- totally up to you).

5) Remove from oven, cool, and add fresh basil, parsley, etc.

6) Spoon into jars, ziploc bags or freezer containers for freezing. Voila!

 

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