Diane, A Broad
August 9, 2012

Back to Basics: Roasted Tomatoes

I used to hate tomatoes. No joke. When I was in high school, and well into college, I refused to eat fresh tomatoes unless absolutely necessary. I was fine with tomato products — after all, what kind of person eats a white pizza anyway? — but present me with a sandwich with fresh tomato and I would pick out any offending slices.

Wrong. I was so, so wrong.

I saw the light when I was presented with a slice of salt-and-peppered black brandywine tomato at the Santa Monica farmer’s market. This was nothing like the anemic specimens I was used to seeing at the grocery store. Richly red and green and brown, it promised real flavor, not the bland wateriness of the tomatoes of my past. Chew, chew, swallow, and I was a changed girl.

Nowadays, I bring home scoopfuls of little oval coeur de pigeon cherry tomatoes for caprese salads or just to eat as post-lunch snacks, but a couple of weeks ago I started roasting about half of them as soon as I got them home.

You guys. Do this.

They become soft and mellow and sweet, with a lovely lingering acidity, and I put them in nearly everything. Having these in a jar in the fridge means I can make dinner out of almost anything. You can use them in most recipes that call for sun-dried tomatoes, too, but anything that needs a little color or acidity benefits from a spoonful.


  1. Grab a bunch of tomatoes. I like to do it immediately after I get them home, but this would also be a good use for tomatoes that have started to get kind of old and wrinkly. Cherry, beefsteak, roma, heirloom — doesn’t matter.
  2. Heat your oven to 350-400°F.
  3. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and cut larger tomatoes into equivalent pieces.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with enough olive oil to cover every tomato surface, a couple pinches of salt, some big grinds of pepper, and a glug or two of balsamic vinegar. If you have fresh herbs like oregano or thyme, feel free to toss some in there too.
  5. Spread out on a sheet pan in one layer.
  6. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the tomatoes have cooked down and look a bit charred in places. Allow them to cool, then spoon them and any remaining juices or oil into a jar. It will keep in the fridge for about a week.


  • Roasted tomato bread pudding (yes, I’m on a bread pudding kick) is a mind-blowing and unexpected side made of stale bread and old tomatoes. Win/win.
  • Toss into pastas or bake on pizzas.
  • A quick whir in a food processor or blender makes a simple sauce.
  • Stick ’em in a sandwich.
  • Toast slices of bread, rub them with a clove of garlic, and pile on cold roasted tomatoes for bruschetta.
  • Toss it into a fresh tomato salad for another layer of flavor.

Music to cook by: Cruel [St. Vincent // Strange Mercy]

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7 responses to “Back to Basics: Roasted Tomatoes”

  1. […] and cleaned. 3 tsp paprika 1/2 lemon 2 small cloves or 1 large clove garlic, minced fine 3/4 cup roasted tomatoes (optional) small handful flat-leaf parsley, coarsely […]

  2. […] that to you — but I have gotten over most of my food prejudices. After seeing the light about tomatoes, I have been systematically trying the foods I held a prejudice against, trying to present them in […]

  3. […] real joy of this recipe for me was that three of the ingredients — the tomatoes, the spinach, and the onion — were all things from my Back to Basics series that I already […]

  4. […] cayenne pepper (optional) 1/2 cup water 3 small potatoes, diced (about 1 1/2-2 cups) 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes 1-1 1/2 cups chicken, shredded or diced 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon […]

  5. […] Ingredients 1/2 recipe your favorite all-butter pie crust recipe or 1 purchased refrigerated pie crust 4 eggs 3/4 cups half-and-half salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cup cooked baby spinach or frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 1/4 cup shredded Emmental or Gruyere cheese 1/4 cup roasted cherry tomatoes […]

  6. Hey Diane – Searched on recipe old cherry tomato and showed up here. Didn’t even add wrinkly, although they were. Thanks for the recipe. They turned out great, even used the last of the basil from the garden. Peace.

  7. […] real joy of this recipe for me was that three of the ingredients — the tomatoes, the spinach, and the onion — were all things from my Back to Basics series that I already […]

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