Friday, September 17, 2010


The beautiful baskets of tomatoes in the markets make you wish this time of year lasted at least 6 months so you never had to eat a "winter" tasteless tomato.  Roasting tomatoes in the oven is an easy way to have the fresh taste without all the work of canning.  I love home canned tomatoes, but my kitchen is so small that canning is very difficult so I roast my tomatoes.

Tomatoes for canning. 

In the past I have liked to use Roma tomatoes for roasting.  The Roma tomatoes are next to the empty boxes.  I have roasted the smaller size of regular tomatoes like those in boxes above the Roma, but they are very juicy.

Our Daughter told us about the Arnsmans of Allegan who bring fabulous tomatoes to the Holland market with the name of Juliet.

The Juliet is a little largeer than a grape tomato and smaller than a Roma tomato.  They are like eating candy.  They are just sooooo good.

Caroline Arnsman told me the 8th Street Grill in Holland buys her Juliet tomatoes and roasts them for 3 hours at 300°.  She tried their method and then froze the roasted tomatoes on a cookie sheet so each one froze separately before she bagged them for storage.  When Caroline's friend tried doing the tomatoes at 300° for 3 hours, hers became too brown. A little brown is good as that is the sugars in the tomatoes caramelizing which adds to the flavor. All ovens are different, so the first time you try roasting tomatoes keep an eye on them so you know how your oven works.

This is the method I use for the Roma tomatoes.  If I am going to use the tomatoes immediately, I will put some garlic cloves on the pan with the tomatoes for roasted garlic and tomatoes.  If I am going to freeze the tomatoes, I do not add garlic as garlic loses most of it flavor and good chemicals in the freezing process.

Roma tomatoes
Kosher or sea salt
Olive oil
Black pepper, if desired
Garlic, if desired, peeled

Wash the tomatoes and let drain.  Spray a cookie sheet with sides with non-stick spray.  Slice the tomatoes about 1/4-inch thick.  Place on the cookie sheet.  When the cookie sheet is filled with a single layer of sliced tomatoes, drizzle liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Sprinkle with pepper if desired.  Add garlic cloves drizzled with olive oil if desired.  Bake at 250° for 2 hours.

I do this the easy way.  I drizzle with oil/salt and put the pan in the oven.  Some people like to get their hands in and mix everything together.  I don't find it necessary.  I like to keep my hands clean :).  I will be posting recipes to use the frozen tomatoes later. 

Ingredients:  Roma tomatoes, olive oil and salt.

Extras if desired:  Black pepper and garlic.

Wash and drain the tomatoes.

Slice off the end and discard.  Slice the tomatoes.

Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Lay sliced tomatoes in a single layer on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt.  Roast in a 250° oven for 2 hours.

Cool roasted tomatoes before packaging or putting in the blender.

The tomatoes can be put sliced in freezer bags or put in blender to puree and then packaged.

Freeze.  Roasted tomatoes added to spaghetti sauce, chilies or any tomato dish add brilliant sunny flavor in the middle of winter.  Coming soon to Michigan Cottage Cook, my Spaghetti Sauce made with Roasted Tomatoes.

The Juliete Tomatoes are roasted whole.  Wash tomatoes and put on a rimmed cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt.  Put into a 250° or 300° oven for 3 hours.  I will have much more on using Julietes and roasting them, but I wanted to get this posted so you could buy some if you are in the area.

These are Julietes that I roasted 2 hours at 250° and then an hour at 300° for a total of 3 hours roasting.  I see all kinds of uses for these beauties.  Can't wait to experiment.    Have fun with this process!!


  1. I usually don't slice the tomatoes while roasting them as you can see at http://desigrub.com/2010/09/roasting-tomatoes-in-an-oven/
    . Please take a look at mine and comment. I need to try roasting sliced tomatoes sometime.

  2. I can not wait to try this with a load of tomatoes. I used to freeze them whole and drop a couple in a sauce but I love the idea of concentrating them by roasting them. So many great uses for these!!!

  3. DGRUB, Thank you for your comment. I am all about quick and easy. Your method looks great especially for regular tomatoes, although regular tomatoes work my way too. I have been slicing, roasting at a low temp and freezing tomatoes for 12 years. It takes a little time to slice them but they roast so much faster. I like a low oven temperature because I get involved and forget sometimes what I am doing. A low temperature gives you more forgiveness of forgetfulness. I do have a recipe: http://michigancottagecook.blogspot.com/2010/07/roasted-tomato-zucchini-and-brown-rice.html that I do tomatoes at 400° but have to watch carefully.

  4. Dracy, Fave Nurse, You will love roasting the tomatoes. After you roast the tomatoes, you can then mix Roma tomatoes and Cherry-type tomatoes for unique flavors when you put them in your sauces