Went to a local farm in a neighboring town and picked up 6 lb gorgeous tomatoes ($1.75lb) along with a big celery with tons and tons of leaves ($1) and two small pickling cukes ($1). All for under $13.50!
As soon as I returned home, I washed and chopped the tomatoes into halves/large chunks and put them in the oven to slow roast @ 260F.
Never ever throw away fresh celery leaves when you buy them fresh at the farm or farmer’s market. They dry out so easily in a low oven and will keep in a air-tight container for awhile. Use like any dry herb, for soups, sauces, etc. Penzey’s Spices charges over $8 for a 4 oz bag of celery flakes and the dried leaves work just as well!
Just tear off most of the deep green celery leaves (thin stalks too), rinse and spin dry. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and into the (260F) oven. I had mine drying along with the tomatoes.
Watch the celery leaves in the oven, remove when they get crispy and can crumble completely in your hands. It takes about 30 – 45 minutes. Then allow to cool (only takes a few minutes) and crumble the leaves and stems into an air-tight container or plastic baggie. They keep for awhile, but will lose flavor the longer you keep, just like other dried herbs.
Back to the tomatoes. It’s about 2-3 hours to roast the tomatoes, and once they’re all roasted to sweet goodness, allow them to cool. I transferred into quart freezer bags, ready to use in the winter months when I’m longing for fresh tomato sauce! You can also freeze fresh (uncooked) tomatoes. I just core them and freeze them whole. Works great!
I’ll probably buy more tomatoes from this farm and freeze those raw, but this time, I wanted to get them roasted up first.
Oh it will be soo nice to have summer tomatoes available for my tomato sauce in February…if they last that long!
I don’t remember ever eating a green (unripe) tomato in the past, but we received a few in our CSA share for the last couple of weeks. But how to eat them!?
I found a whole bunch of recipes online, and the chutney intrigued me, as did the green tomato jam. But I decided to go the simple route, and just roast them with some red tomatoes; I love roasted tomato and olive oil sauce.
So last week, I made a batch of roasted green and red tomatoes, and poured it over some quinoa pasta. The green tomatoes tasted sour, but they melded very well with the sweeter red tomatoes, giving a wonderful balance of flavors. I enjoyed it so much, I roasted another batch of red and green tomatoes last night. After cooling, I poured them into a freezer bag and added to my ever expanding freezer, so we can enjoy them at a later date.
Ingredients & Instructions for Roasted Green Tomatoes:
Fresh basil leaves
Chop the tomatoes into large chunks, and arrange in a baking dish with basil leaves. Drizzle olive oil on top and bake in a 275° oven for 1-2 hours until shriveled and juicy. Enjoy!
If there’s room in the baking dish, you can also add a chopped onion and/or peppers. Yum!
I had an amazing dinner tonight! I recently picked up the CSA share for the week and there was an abundance of wonderful tomatoes! I knew I had to roast some for pasta.
I sliced the heirloom tomato we received, plus one roma and two slicing tomatoes, and I mixed them in a baking dish along with some chopped pepper, onion and basil leaves.
Continue reading “Fresh Roasted Tomatoes with Pasta”
Just made the most delicious flatbread pizza tonight, with freshly roasted tomatoes and onions.
I am obsessed with roasted plum tomatoes! Normally, roma plum tomatoes are dull and flavorless if eaten raw. But when they finish roasting, the flavor is intense! The only problem is, it’s best to cook them low and slow, so you need at least an hour or more of roasting time.
I roasted this batch for a total of about 3 hours @ 250° but you can reduce the cooking time if you increase the temp.
I found an interesting recipe in the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics book (borrowed from the library) for Roasted Tomatoes with Basil – here’s a similar recipe from her, sans the basil leaves.
I adjusted the recipe for my needs, but I was really intrigued by the addition of balsamic vinegar. I normally don’t cook with vinegar, but I see it in so many recipes, I was inspired to try it. It really adds a layer of flavor to the dish, without a strong vinegar taste. Don’t be afraid to try it!
First, here’s my recipe for the tomatoes. After, you’ll find my easy flatbread pizza recipe using the roasted tomatoes.
Continue reading “Flatbread Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes & Onions”