Often, the most exciting kitchen creations are the simplest. They don't require ingredient-scouting, an afternoon of prep-time, and several minutes of muttering under your breath that the results had "better goddamn be worth it". They aren't fussy and they don't require special equipment. But are the results impressive? Oh yes. Once you make these tomatoes, you will want to feed them to everyone you know, while graciously basking in the boundless enthusiasm they elicit from your loved ones. Yes, they are that good.
I first came across this recipe at least 5 years ago in Heidi Swanson's wonderful cookbook "Super Natural Every Day". She uses them in a black bean salad (which, coincidentally is the best bean salad I've ever had and which I plan on making all summer). These roasted tomatoes are deceptively simple, just 4 ingredients and a few minutes of prep time. But they are everything.
The little bit of sugar in this recipe takes lackluster supermarket tomatoes and imbues them with the sweetness of those height-of-summer backyard tomatoes that I wish were available year-round. I generally like to avoid added sugars in recipes, but here it is worth every little sucrose granule. You see, most tomatoes that you buy in the store were picked while still green (this helps them ship better) and didn't have the time to develop the sweetness that is their birthright. (If you're up for some depressing agricultural reading, pick up a copy of "Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit" by Barry Estabrook.)
In the past, I've made these with olive oil but after reading about the dangers of using olive oil with high heat, I've switched over to avocado oil. Avocado oil has a neutral taste and a high smoke-point. It's also becoming a lot more available these days (I picked mine up over at Thrive Market but I've seen it in the grocery store and at Cost Co).
Once you've made these tomatoes, store them in the fridge for up to a week and use them in EVERYTHING. Salads. Avocado toast. Eggs. Pasta. Sandwiches. Or do like I did and eat them on crackers with hummus for the perfect afternoon snack. You will soon wish that you made a double batch.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes for Everything
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 Tbsp sugar (use maple syrup or coconut sugar if you want to avoid the refined stuff)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half and toss them in a baking dish with oil, sugar, and salt. Pop in the oven for 60 minutes, they are done when the edges are a bit caramelized. Store in the fridge for up to a week.