Caramelized Tomatoes

I have always firmly believed that people who make homemade ketchup are confused about their life priorities.  These roasted tomatoes might change my mind - the deep, sweet flavor makes me wonder if a roasted tomato ketchup might not be earth-shattering.

Officially they are Caramelized Plum Tomatoes in an Olive Oil Bath, and the bath part is accurate.  The tomtatoes go into the oven looking like small bowls filled with oil.  As the water cooks out of the tomatoes, the oil keeps everything from burning.  These aren't diet food, but to cut back on oiliness, you could cool them on a baking rack to let oil drip off.  For roasting at high temperature I sometimes substitute oils with a higher smoking point for evoo, but I used the more flavorful extra-virgin olive oil recommended in the recipe since we were going to eat them simply.

Instead of plum tomatoes, I found Campari tomatoes at the store, which are smaller and rounder.  I was really impressed by the amount of flavor that this cooking method developed in out of season and a bit under-ripe grocery store tomatoes.  Even the over-done bits were like tasty tomato chips.  Although I recommend taking the tomatoes out a few minutes before they hit the blackened stage. 

Heat the oven to 425.   Halve the tomatoes, scoop out the seeds and inner membranes.  The tomato inner membranes and seedy bits left over are very flavorful, so I put them to good use in a dal.

Sprinkle the tomatoes halves with salt, sugar, and balsamic vinegar.  Lay a slice of garlic in each center, and fill each tomato with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Hey, I warned you. 

And that's all the recipe you need.  Bake them for 30 to 40 minutes, watching to make sure they don't start to get too dark.  We ate almost all of these up before dinner, so I guess that makes them the hors d'oeuvres, but they would also be great on bruschetta or in a salad.  This dish is definitely happening again.

This is the third fabulous and simple recipe I've made from Fast, Fresh & Green by Susie Middleton, a cookbook that I am so excited about that I am cooking my way through all the recipes.  I am also totally charmed by her online home, Six Burner Sue, where you can find her hard at work running a vegetable farm on Martha's Vineyard and developing recipes for a second cookbook that will be called Fresh & Green for Dinner.  Seriously folks, I think it's love.


  1. This looks really good! Do you think you could cut back on the oil and it would still be good?

  2. I bet you could use less oil if the oven temperature was much lower - when I was looking for a roasted tomato ketchup recipe, I found another recipe for roasting tomatoes at 250 for 6 hours. Here's the link.


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