Slow Roasted Grape Tomatoes with Garlic

Note about vinegars: Balsamic vinegar has become ubiquitous — nearly the default vinegar. While I love the taste of balsamic, it is pronounced. Vinegar’s role is often to provide a simple acid counterpoint to richness and sweetness as in the case with this recipe rather than add pronouced flavor. In particular, I feel as though we have lost “respect” for the clear voice of red wine vinegar. Perhaps this is because inexpensive red wine vinegars tend to be harsh. I strongly suggest adding a quality red wine vinegar to your pantry and using it frequently. There is a world of wonderful vinegars to explore. To that end, see the ingredient note in At HomeA Glossary of Vinegars — on Page 137. If you do not yet own At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining, click here.

Slow-Roasted Grape Tomatoes with Garlic

Slow roasted tomatoes are one of those ever-ready condiments, similar to roasted peppers. At Home provides a similar recipe on Page 82 using plum tomatoes as part of Crostinis and Toppings. This is good winter’s version using grape tomatoes whose flavor is dependable year ‘round. The role of the vinegar here is to just slightly cut the richness of the oil and sweetness of tomatoes. The vinegar should just provide a slight undercurrent – hardly perceptible. Serve with crostini or just good rustic bread. The addition of olive oil at the end provides some extra oil to “dress” the crostini.

Do ahead Tomatoes may be made up to two weeks in advance and stored, covered, in your refrigerator. As with most foods, they are better served at room temperature than cold so remove at least one hour before serving. Making in advance also has the advantage of the flavors mellowing.

2 pints Grape Tomatoes
4 to 6 medium garlic cloves, thin sliced
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees.
2. Slice grape tomatoes in half lengthwise. Combine in medium bowl with garlic and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Spread tomatoes on non-stick or parchment lined rimmed cookie sheet. Place on middle shelf of oven. Roast for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
4. Allow to cool. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar and salt. Mix well. Transfer to serving bowl.

Yield About 1 1/2 cups

Thin slice garlic cloves.

Cut grape tomatoes in half lenghtwise.

Spread tomatoes and garlic on rimmed cookie sheet. Don’t worry about whether the tomatoes face up or down. Depending on how they are facing they will cook differently, but that adds texture and interest to the finished product. I find the price of grape tomatoes varies from as much as $4.99 for organic grape tomatoes at Whole Foods to $2.99 or less at Sue’s — my little local produce store. To me, the flavor is the same.

Be patient. Two and a half to three hours is a long time — a little more or a little less is no big deal. It helps to turn sheet mid-way through as ovens tend to not cook evenly. The roasted tomatoes should range from shriveled and nearly dried to still a little plump. They will continue to shrivel and shrink as they cool. Longer cooking intensifies the flavor more, but you do not want these to reach the texture of “sun dried tomatoes.” You want a residue juiciness.

Here’s the finished product. Two pints of tomatoes cook down to about 1 1/2 intensely flavored cups. You could add some diced fresh basil. Serve with crostini or just sliced high-quality rustic bread like I get at my neighborhood Metropolitan Bakery. If you are making these into topped crostini on a platter for your guests, dress it up with a little crumbled feta or good shaved parmesan.

Goodnight Izzy
The response to my Goodnight Izzy post was been very warm and comforting. Comments have been posted on the blog. If you missed the post or want to see the comments, click here.

Thank you for visiting.

Steve
Your Home Entertaining Coach

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