Our growing season is short in Minnesota, but believe me, it can still do a tomato justice. Tomatoes are abundant at the farmers market right now, and, honestly, I can eat them like apples. I used to wonder what to do with the bushels of tomatoes I would see at the market, and then I discovered roasting. Yup, oven roast them, my friends…for 3 hours. Yes, you read that right: 3 hours (even longer if you want. The flavor just keeps getting better.) You may think I’m crazy when I tell you to turn your oven on for that long in August, but trust me; you won’t regret it. The tomatoes get sweeter and the flavor intensifies as they roast – which is a perfect thing to do with tomatoes that aren’t quite BLT-ready.
The first appetizer I make when I’m done roasting is this one: Oven Roasted Tomatoes with Warm Goat Cheese. It showcases the intense, sweet flavor of the oven roasted tomatoes beautifully and is a snap to make. Serve it with a crusty baguette, and you have a restaurant-worthy appetizer that is a good fit for any occasion. But really, the sky is the limit once you roast the tomatoes: toss them with pasta, add them to a flatbread, or snack on them straight out of the oven. Another bonus for these versatile oven roasted tomatoes? They freeze well. Make a big batch and freeze some for an impromptu gathering this winter. A taste of summer year-round. What can beat that?
- 3 pounds Roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup oven roasted tomatoes
- 6 ounce log goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, julienned
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- On a parchment lined cookie sheet, place tomatoes and garlic cloves. Sprinkle with oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small oven safe dish, place goat cheese and top with ¾ cup oven roasted tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with basil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm with crostini.