Summer In Winter

When I want a diversion from the kale and roasted veggie salads of winter, I start rummaging in my freezer.  I love the brilliance that Autumn gives us. It’s that last bright burst of color before the low gray sky and cold days of December through March. Yet I find Autumn bittersweet, because I know it offers the last local tomatoes of the year.

It’s my tradition to come home from the Farmers Market  at the end of Autumn carrying flats brimming with over ripe, slightly bruised, and imperfect end of season plum and heirloom tomatoes. I then dedicate a day to extracting that concentrated late summer flavor by roasting them. Although an all day commitment, it is so worth the hours! The roasted tomatoes then get parceled into portions and popped into the freezer.

 

It makes me so happy to be able to enjoy that bright, sweet, intense and slightly acidic flavor during the winter months.  I use my roasted tomatoes in every way possible: pasta sauces; on bruschetta as pictured below with my pesto, which I also make during basil season and freeze, and in soups.

Or I simply just plate this bright, delicious freezer find and finish with a drizzle of olive oil, a crumble of a good salty cheese like ricotta salata, and a sprinkle of fresh frozen parsley or the dried herbs we all turn to during winter.

 

On days like this, its no wonder roasting tomatoes for the long winter days ahead is a custom I always look forward to.

Late Summer Roasted Tomatoes

This recipe makes about 3 pounds.

Make as many or as few as you like and adjust the recipe accordingly.  I generally make 25 pounds of tomatoes and increase the other ingredients to taste.

On a baking sheet toss together:

3 lbs tomatoes washed, halved or quartered depending on the size of the tomatoes.
2 tblsp olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1-2 tsps balsamic vinegar

Bake at 425 for 15 min or until tomatoes are brown and starting to caramelize.

Remove skins after baking. They slip right off.

 

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