Slow-Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
You knew it was coming.
Yet another post about what to do with all of the summer tomatoes you’ve been plucking from your garden (or your friend’s garden) besides using them to decorate your tables and your countertops…
This recipe for slow-roasted tomatoes comes straight from the genius that is smitten kitchen. I’ve basically changed nothing from the original recipe except the roasting time (it’s that good).
What I have done is roast batches and batches of mini tomatoes using this method– too many times to count– so the inevitable has happened and I’ve found countless ways to eat them and favorite dishes to put them in. (Though just like Deb from smitten kitchen, I mostly put them in my mouth.)
I love the idea of roasting the tomatoes face-up, both for prettiness, and for maintaining more of their moisture. For all the comparisons these get to sun-dried tomatoes across the food blog world, I’d have to contend that these are only distance cousins of sun-dried tomatoes; they are far less bitter and far more juicy!
This quick and easy (you know, after the slow-roasting…) bruschetta is a favorite and a crowd-pleaser. My other favorite excuse to demolish a handful of these little goodies is to scatter them over a salad of mixed greens and sprinkle on a few spoonfuls of feta cheese.
That said, I still intend to come back to and play with these a little to create more variations; there are so many possibilities! Not just bruschetta and salads; they’d also be nice on top of pesto-smeared pizza crust with fresh mozzarella, or nestled in among short pasta or gnocchi with an extra drizzle of olive oil and some ribbons of basil, or blended into savory soups! (And if you think that sounds like a waste of a perfectly roasted tomato, remind me to post sometime about my roasted tomato gazpacho…)
Of course this hasn’t been lost on fellow food bloggers. Suggestions (no, entreatments) for what to do with slow-roasted tomatoes are all over the internet, but in particular, check out the exquisite ideas of Molly from Orangette and her recipe for even-slower-roasted Roma tomatoes with coriander.
One of the variations I still haven’t tried, though I’ve been meaning to, is a Middle Eastern spin (you already know how much I love putting za’atar on everything) with an extra sprinkling of ground fresh thyme, sumac, mint, and maybe pine nuts or hazelnuts. (I’ll report back!)
I think these sugary little tomato treats are nicely balanced by dishes with a kick of salt or garlic, since the tomatoes get even sweeter after just a day or two in the fridge. I’m not exaggerating when I call them sugary either; slow-roasted tomatoes are like if sun-dried tomatoes and CANDY got married and had a baby… if you ignore the fact that just a moment ago, I called them sun-dried tomato’s distant cousin.
Although your roasting time will depend on the size of the tomatoes you use, I’ve taken to slow-roasting the tomatoes just a little less slowly– though at the same low temperature– in under two hours for cherry tomatoes instead of three, just to keep them extra juicy.
The best part is that your kitchen will start to smell like freshly-baked pizza. (Oh and it WILL make you hungry.) The other best part is that you end up with some seriously tasty little tomatoes.
What will you do with yours?
Slow-Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
(Slow-roasted tomato recipe barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen.)
Ingredients for the roasted tomatoes:
~ 3-4 large handfuls of cherry tomatoes, other small heirloom tomatoes, or Romas
~ 6-8 cloves of garlic (no need to remove the peels!)
~ a sprig or two of fresh rosemary and/or thyme, finely chopped or left whole
~ olive oil
~ sea salt
Ingredients for the bruschetta:
~ thick slices of a nice bread, like a baguette or ciabatta
~ 1-2 cloves of roasted garlic (from the tray of roasted tomatoes), or a raw clove of garlic
~ olive oil
~ sea salt and black pepper, to taste
~ fresh basil leaves, shredded, to garnish
How to make it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 225 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, halve the tomatoes, and arrange them face-up on the baking sheets. Set the unpeeled cloves of garlic in among the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs and drizzle generously with olive oil.
2. Roast for anywhere between 90 minutes and 3 hours (I like to roast cherry tomatoes for only about an hour and 40 minutes, swapping the positions of the two sheets in the oven at the 50-minute halfway mark). In the last 10 minutes of roasting, open the oven just to give the tomatoes a good grind (or shake) of sea salt.
3. Assemble the bruschetta: slice bread thickly, and optionally toast it. Using one of the roasted garlic cloves– or a raw one if the roasted ones became too soft– rub the garlic over the top of the bread, lightly grating it across the bread’s surface. Brush or drizzle the bread with olive oil.
4. Once the slow-roasted tomatoes have cooled, pile them on top of the garlicky bread slices, and top with fresh basil leaves or sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Related recipe posts:
> Pan Catalan (Tomato Bread Tapas with Olive Oil and Garlic)
> Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad
> Guest Post: Homemade Baguettes