Makes about 60 roasted tomato halves if using plum, 24–32 if using regular tomatoes, 21/4 cups mashed or pureed; 10 servings as an hors d’oeuvre
4 pounds ripe or nearly ripe tomatoes, about 30 plum tomatoes or 12 to 16 regular tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
About 1 teaspoon sugar
About 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Slice, oil, and season the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Slice the plum tomatoes in half lengthwise through the stem; larger tomatoes should be quartered through the stem. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil to coat. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sugar, salt, and pepper.
Roast the tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes for 21/2 to 3 hours, until they have lost most of their liquid and are just beginning to brown. They should look like dried apricots and hold their shape when moved. If some tomatoes are done before others, remove them with a spatula while you continue cooking the rest. Cool to room temperature.
Serve the tomatoes as an hors d’oeuvre or side dish, arranged in concentric circles on a round or oval platter. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Store the tomatoes, well covered, in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or in the freezer up to 2 months. Once refrigerated, the tomatoes will soften and lose their chewy exterior, though their flavor will be just as good.
Note: Roast tiny cherry, grape, and egg tomatoes in exactly the same way to make charming, chunky, tossed-together sauces. Roast egg or grape tomatoes about 1 hour, cherry tomatoes about 11/2 hours.
Copyright© 2006 by Sally Schneider. Used by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, New York. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form whatsoever or stored in a database or retrieval system without the prior written permission of William Morrow.