slow oven-roasted cherry tomatoes

April 18, 2013

When it comes to food, I’m pretty easily impressed. I’m especially fascinated by how flavours can evolve dramatically over time with only a little effort. A perfect example is what happens when you leave tomatoes, garlic and a little olive oil in a warm oven for a couple of hours. What you end up with is something that tastes sweet, salty and even a little vinegary – as if by magic! Some recipes will suggest you sprinkle with salt, pepper & dried herbs; while I’m sure would be lovely, I prefer to keep it simple and keep being amazed by how flavoursome these are with so few ingredients.

Lately, making a pot of these has become a bit of a Sunday afternoon ritual after picking up my fruit and veg from the markets – admittedly, the jar’s usually empty by Wednesday… They’re great to add to pretty much any savoury dish, and also just to snack on as they are or add to a cheese platter. By cooking slowly in a really low oven, they retain some of their juiciness. In comparison to their leathery old-lady sun-bed ruined relative the sun-dried tomato, I think of these more as the healthy ‘sun-kissed’ responsible tanner. 

Makes 1 jar (250mL)

ingredients

  • 1 punnet of cherry / grape tomatoes (250g / about 2 cups)
  • 1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
  • 1.5 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Extra olive oil it you intend to store

method

  1. Heat oven to 100° C
  2. Slice each of the tomatoes in half and place them cut-side up on a baking tray lined with baking paper
  3. Scatter the unpeeled garlic bulbs amongst the toms
  4. Drizzle with olive oil
  5. Bake for 2 hours – they will shrink by about 1/3 so not completely dried and still a little juicy
  6. Once cooled, peel the garlic and store with the tomatoes in a sterilised jar – will keep in the fridge for a week. If you make a big batch or intend to store for longer, top the jar up with extra virgin olive oil (the oil that’s left once all the tomatoes and garlic have gone is lovely and flavoursome too)

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