Slow-Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Every summer when the good local tomatoes arrive, I think I will never ever get enough of them. I picture myself diving into a ball pit filled with tomatoes and paddling about for hours like kids do at IKEA.

But then after a few weeks of tomato frenzy, I am suddenly faced with what seemed utterly impossible before: we have too many tomatoes to eat them all.

Tomatoes

And that’s when I start making batches of slow-roasted tomatoestomates confites in French — which are a fine way to eat them, in salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes, and also freeze really well.

Contrary to what some recipes have you do, I don’t skin the tomatoes before roasting because I don’t mind the skin and who wants to skin plum tomatoes in the summer heat?

Tomatoes

It usually take two and a half hours in my oven to get the tomatoes to the consistency I’m looking for, the edges wilted and curled, but still the memory of plump flesh. This is quite different from sun-dried tomatoes, which tend to be a bit leathery for my taste.

Slow-roasting concentrates the tomato flavor in subtle and beautiful ways, and accentuates their sweetness.

I typically choose to season my slow-roasted tomatoes with salt and pepper, and sometimes ground chili pepper or dried herbs. It depends if I want to make “plain” tomates confites, and add my choice of herb when using them in a dish, or want them pre-seasoned.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Have you tried this? Share your pics on Instagram!

Please tag your pictures with #cnzrecipes. I'll share my favorites!

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

Ingredients

  • Ripe tomatoes -- roma, plum, cherry, or similar, firm with little juice
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Ground chili pepper (optional)
  • Dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano... (optional)
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 100°C (200°F).
  2. Halve the tomatoes, and run your thumb in the cavities to remove the juice and seeds (save and filter the tomato water for drinking). Roma, plum, and cherry tomatoes have a very thin stem that you can leave in, but if the tomatoes you're using have a tougher stem, carve it out.
  3. Place the tomato halves, cut side up, on a well oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, ground chili pepper, and dried herbs if using. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Put into the oven and allow to slow-roast for 2 to 3 hours, keeping an eye on them, until you reach the desired consistency.

Notes

To freeze without clumping, arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a clean baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and place the baking sheet in the freezer. After a couple of hours, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe container. (Save the parchment paper for another use.)

https://cnz.to/recipes/vegetables-grains/slow-roasted-tomatoes-recipe/

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

This post was first published in May 2004 and updated in August 2017.

Tagged:
  • Yum, I will definitely have to do this!

  • Adele

    My daughter and I call these “Tomato Candy”. We like them slightly drier, with a little brown around the edges. Have had great success throwing a few stems of fresh thyme across the tomatoes as well. They make great companions to quickly sauteed spicy shrimp.

  • Adele – What oven temp do you cook yours at and how long? Fresh thyme sounds great, and my neighbor has a pot of lemon thyme on her window sill, so I may try that next time!

  • These remind me of a funny story (well, funny now; it could’ve been disastrous). I was slow-roasting some tomatoes at one point, and the process takes 4-5 hours. So I left to do other things. Unbeknownst to me, my flame went out, so I came home to an apartment that reeked of gas. I plopped the cat into the bathroom, and then opened all the windows.

    This is why I no longer leave the house when I’m cooking things at low temps.

  • alistair

    Hi,

    we do the same thing each year with a lot of our toms. Some we dry to the stage you showed, others a bit drier (and with herbs). They freeze very well and can be chopped up when still frozen to add to sauces or pizzas etc.

  • I love oven roasted tomatoes as we call them here in California. They are awesome chopped in any salads, and sauteed with vegetable side dishes, the uses are endless. This is a great simple variation. Thanks!

  • Clotilde, how well do these keep? Do you need to refrigerate afterwards and if so how long do they keep? I see one of the earlier comments mentions freezing, so I guess that is an option too. Thanks – I am definitely going to try this!

  • Adele

    I cook them at either 200 or 250, depending upon how much time I have. I cook them for about 1-2 hours, but have been known to sometimes speed up the process by raising the oven temperature to 275 or 300 for about 15 minutes. I doubt preparing a large batch ahead of time would work because I don’t have much willpower :~).

  • Oh, so mouth-watering Clotilde! I wonder if these would go well with some creamed garlic? Something like gramolano (sp?) dressing?

  • Samantha

    Thanks for the great idea Clotilde! We picked up some cherry tomatoes over the weekend that had very little flavor. I halved and seeded them, and after 3 hours in the oven they are perfect. I threw some into a stuffing for zucchini, and have been eating them plain too.

  • Ha! I’d forgotten about the story Derrick mentions above. I was thinking to myself while reading your post, “Ummm, will have to slow roast tomatoes soon.” Now I am warned to keep an eye on Derrick and the oven!

    I love tomatoes like you love zucchini, so I am always happy to have more ways to eat them. I used to have a garden where I grew as many varieties of tomatoes as I could fit: pear, cherries, romas, early girls, and on and on. All so delicious! I look forward to doing that again someday. :-)

  • mmmm, i love roasted tomatoes. instead of sugar, i use balsamic vinegar, which lends them a gorgeous caramelly sweet vinegary touch. the smell of them cooking is so wonderful as it drifts through the house. they are fantastic as a quick pasta sauce, squooshed onto bread with some blue cheese, onto grilled polenta with proscuitto, onto oat biscuits….the list is endless! yr pasta salad sounds great, esp. the chorizo! will have to try it.

  • Maryanne

    yummmm, I make these at the end of the summer with the surfeit of tomatoes from the farmers market and my own garden. To some of them I add anchovies, smushed up really well with olive oil, and then I actually preserve the lot of them, using little 4 ounce jars, with ring lids! They are perfect on a winter’s nite when you need a little sunshine. Just toss with fresh penne and a salad.

  • Derrick and Melissa – Scary story! I loved that you thought to put the cat somewhere safe first… And Melissa, all these tomato names sound so poetic, no wonder they were good!

    Alistair – Good to know about them freezing well, that’s convenient.

    Mystie and Kitschenette – Thanks for the suggested uses, they sound absolutely delightful!

    Meg – I’m not sure how long they’d keep, I would give them about a few days, I guess, like any cooked vegetable. They would probably keep longer if jarred in olive oil. Or, indeed, like Alistair said, frozen. Let me know if you try it!

    Adele – Thanks for telling me about your recipe, I’ll try your way too!

    Karen – Oh yes, definitely, these would be lovely with garlic!

    Samantha – I’m delighted you tried this already! It’s a good idea to do it with cherry tomatoes, then you can use them as is, no chopping involved!

    Maryanne – That sounds great! Do you sterilize the jars in any way, in a hot water bath or something? Or just close the jars and the olive oil keeps it from spoiling?

  • Samantha

    Hi Clotilde,

    Follow-up on the cherry tomato confites… worked wonderfully. We’ve been eating them on salads… and tonight I’m serving them with roasted eggplant and feta with a tahini lemon dressing as part of a larger middle-eastern menu. I actually slipped the tomato halves out of their skins once roasted… much easier than peeling them in advance!

  • BEcky

    Clotilde,

    The first time I did tomatoes like these I used grape tomatoes. They are a lot sweeter and the flavor is delicious. I just use salt, pepper and olive oil and give them a toss. Also, I had seen on a show one day a tomato soup using these with garlic, onions, fresh basil and chicken broth. I had to say MIAM MIAM when I made it!!

  • Samantha and Becky – Thanks for sharing your experience with these! I also like roasted cherry tomatoes, I think they look particularly pretty, especially if you leave them on the vine…

  • oh my. i usually hurt when i read stuff like this because i love roasted tomatoes but i don’t have an oven anymore. i hurt of envy. i hurt because even when i did have an oven i refrained from doing this because i had people in the background telling me “rising gas/electricity prices!” isn’t there any way to simulate this using a grill? some trick somewhere to fake it? (ogling picture, ogling lotto so i don’t have to worry about people telling me that using the oven more than an hour is impractical…)

  • Swamp – I’m not very experienced with grills : is there a way to put the grill on very very low? If so, you might want to try it that way : if worse comes to worse, you’ll have grilled tomatoes, and that’s excellent too!

  • Rainey

    Je viens de rentre à l”ordinateur de la cuisine! J’ai dû mettre des tomates au four. Nous les prendrons ce soir avec un rôti du porc et une sautée de la blette. Je ne peux pas les attendre!

    kitschenette (great name!), thanks for the balsamic tip. I have a bottle of truly outrageous, syrupy balsamic that I drizzled over the tops after I read your note.

    Maryanne, I have some of those 4oz. jars. I hope you read clotilde’s note and tell us how you manage the canning. Aside from sterilizing the jars, do you process or water-bath them? It sounds like a genuine treat for the cold tomato-less months.

    clotilde, je pense que j’essayerai de les préserver comme Maryanne a dit.Je mettrai les boîtes dans un bain de l’eau bouillant pendant 10 minutes. Que pensez-vous?

  • Although I love slow roasted tomatoes baked with the fabulous one clove garlic bulb and rosemary (makes the whole house smell divine) if the weather forecaste is warm then Gazapho is a great way to use up tomatoes and there are many ways of making it. Enliven with thai chillies, holy basil, coriander, V8 veggie juice etc and chill overnight for a refreshing lunch. Oh, tomatoes chopped up with garlic on toast for breakfast in the garden. Sprinkle basil, thyme, borage flowers and goat’s cheese on top.

  • Clothilde, this is an absolute must for us every summer. We add garlic slices to the halved tomatoes and remove some of the juice, and then bake them overnight, to get them really caramelized (lowest setting possible in the oven, ~170 degrees F). After that, we jar them up and cover them with olive oil, then process them in a water bath to seal them for storage. They are PERFECT for pizza, adding to sauces, smearing on a toasted bagel, etc. etc.

  • Vickie Harvey

    I made these yesterday! I have a lot of tomatoes in my garden right now. Accidentally used Rosemary Olive Oil and the whole house smelled wonderful and the tomatoes were delicious. I am definitely doing this again!

  • Ingrid

    Do you heat the olive oil before pouring it over the tomatoes? And are sealed jars OK in the pantry, or do you have to keep them in the ‘fridge?

  • NotJoking

    Just in time! I used to skin tomatoes except the little ones because my mother always did. But my husband had a problem and the hospital nutritionist gave us a list of things he should and shouldn’t eat. High on the list of good things is tomatoes and particularly tomatoes with skins and preferably cooked. So now I make most of my sauces from fresh tomatoes because it’s hard to find tinned tomatoes that include the skins. The scooped out juice etc. will go into my sauces. One thing I’d like to say that I always forget is how good your recipe times are. So many recipes say cook such and such a time, or prep should be so many minutes and it’s always longer but yours have been spot on.

    • Thanks so much for the feedback, Joy. It’s one of the harder things to estimate, so it’s good to hear you’ve had a good experience with the times I give.

  • gildedviolets

    I have been doing this with the buckets of cherry tomatoes. We have been eating them out of hand, like tomato raisins.

  • Debbie Niskin

    I’m so happy you posted this. I’ve been slow roasting vegetables for a while. At 200’F it is below the smoke point for olive oil. Your post made me realize that. I’ve been using avocado oil but olive oil is much better with tomatoes. It’s wonderful to be able to use olive oil in all of these dishes. Slow roasted zucchini with cacao and olive oil roasted at 200’F in honor of you!!!

  • Romas David

    Great recipe. I actually really appreciate this amazing recipe. I will make it for my family. Thanks!

  • Anna Th Rognvaldsdottir

    Many thanks for your wonderful blog Clotilde! Personally I dislike raw tomatoes (except for the exotic varieties a friend of mine grows but you won’t find those in the supermarket). So I slow roast tomatoes every now and then because that makes them palatable — but I have never used this low a temperature before. Your post inspired me to experiment with four different varieties of small/smallish supermarket tomatoes and I made two discoveries! One: 100°C worked just fine in my friend’s oven, a proper one, but not in my cheap tabletop oven (which is basically just an oversized toaster oven). Its lowest setting is 100°C but the temperature clearly never reaches 100°C on that setting so I had to fiddle with the dial. (I probably need to buy a thermometer to deal with this oven). And two: if you only have indifferent supermarket tomatoes to work with I think it really helps to completely remove the seeds and the watery gel before roasting, a lot of the unpleasant taste and sourness seems to come from this watery cavity. It also surprised me to see how different the various tomatoes were in terms of food value, so to speak. The so-called cherry tomatoes were nothing but seeds, water and skin, the flesh was only millimetres thick and shrank to next to nothing during the roasting process. Similar tomatoes called “Sunshine” turned out to be about 20 times fleshier by comparison, really plump. The tomatoes I slow roasted with the seeds and all are headed straight to the freezer and I’ll deal with them later. Turn them into tomato sauce (sugar will probably be involved). But this goes to show that you’ve really got to know your ingredients and your equipment, you can’t expect recipes to do all the work for you.

  • jonathan wishnev

    After roasting the tomatoes, how would you recommend storing them for the short term? Ziplock bag? Fridge?

Get the newsletter

Receive FREE email updates with all the latest recipes, plus exclusive inspiration and Paris tips. You can also choose to be notified when a new post is published.

View the latest edition of the newsletter.