Last time I visited the u-pick farm I had blueberries on the brain. All I wanted was to walk out of there with a few quarts tucked under my arm to take back to the city and preserve, but the universe had other plans. The blueberries were totally picked over, not a ripe berry in sight. As I tried to hide my dissapointment from my pals by picking all of the zucchini blossoms I could see, I heard someone yell my name from the rows marked tomatoes. No way, I thought, it was still too early for tomatoes, but as I walked down the row I saw the plants become more and more heavy with little yellow cherry tomatoes. I grabbed one and popped it in my mouth. Sweet, sweet summer. I immediately, excitedly started picking the little yellow beauties then stopped and took a big inhale of the vegetal and earthy plants. I put down my basket, put my hands to my face and breathed in the smell of summer. I got lost, thinking of picking tomatoes with my mom from the plants in the front yard, bringing them inside still warm from the sun. I thought of slicing and dressing them with vinegar and salt and pepper, eating them with our fingers then slurping up the juices from the bottom of the bowl or tucking them into sandwiches on toasty wheat bread with mayo. Before I knew it, I had about 2 quarts of tomatoes and my friends were ready to leave so I tucked them under my arm and headed back to the city. I enjoyed them all week in salads like my mom used to make and in pasta with lots of olive oil and basil. I made a batch of salsa and ate them straight from the basket. Then, so I could keep some around a little longer, I took the last pint and roasted them to slumpy perfection.
This is more of a technique than a real recipe, almost silly to even write it down, but here it is. This method produces the tastiest, wrinkliest little tomatoes that are great tossed into a pasta or salad or on a cheese plate with some crusty bread.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
any variety of small tomatoes sliced in half or larger tomatoes cut into thick slices
woody herbs like thyme or rosemary (optional)
garlic cloves with skin on (optional)
Heat your oven to 250º
Arrange the tomato halves, cut side up on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can also sprinkle some chopped herbs or toss some garlic cloves on the sheet. Roast the tomatoes for 2-2 1/2 hours or until they are wrinkly at the edges.
Store in a jar, covered with olive oil. Use within about a week.