Too Many Tomatoes?

 Photo by  Zachary Cross

Photo by Zachary Cross

Is there really such a thing?  Maybe you have an assortment from your CSA box or you had to try one of every color and variety at the market. Last week I was left with an assortment from my own garden, gifts from my dad, and both my husband's and my dad's trips to the market. Then my tomato-eating husband went on a business trip. Even after gifting to friends and neighbors we were in danger of  exploding tomatoes in our kitchen. Roasting to the rescue! 

Roasted tomatoes do not require a strict recipe. Cut tomatoes, any kind, in half or thick slices, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Optionally sprinkle with your favorite herbs and/or add unpeeled cloves of garlic to your baking tray. Roast quickly, 20 minutes or so,  as high as 450 degrees, or go low and slow for 3 to 4 hours at 225. Or somewhere in between! As you might expect, faster and hotter requires more watching, possibly stirring, and can result in a browner product. I opted for longer and lower so I would not have to keep an eye on them and added basil and garlic. As I was roasting spaghetti squash too, I probably should have turned up the heat a little, but it all eventually got done. I boiled some regular pasta for those who prefer it, and two trays of tomatoes were gobbled up by my three kids and our housemate.  

In addition to tossing with pasta, you can use roasted tomatoes on pizza, in salad, on toast, a roast meat, or anywhere you might eat a sun-dried, cooked, or fresh tomato. Tweak your cooking temperatures and times to reflect how you enjoy your finished product, e.g. chewy, crisp, juicy, drier, etc. Store any leftovers in the fridge, or for long-term storage, bake up a big batch and store in the freezer. 

This week I am taking over the blog from Catie and Heather. My name is Heather Cross, and I have been an organic gardener since I was five and a Chattanooga resident since I was twenty. I love to cook and like to try out new recipes on my husband Jeffrey and the three kids we still have at home. Thankfully they are willing guinea pigs! Not only is my son Zachary one of my testers, but he is also a photographer and will be taking the photos for the blog.  Although I am a gardener, I am not a farmer and I love shopping at the market and getting to know the farmers. I enjoy chatting about growing techniques, pest management, unique varieties, and recipes. I like that these are folks I can get to know (and even visit their farms) and that I am supporting them directly. I look forward to sharing recipes for the fruits of their labors with you.