Somewhere around the beginning of September, I commit heresy. I admit, barely above a whisper, that I’m sick of tomatoes.
I remember wistfully those first few days of July when the tomatoes would start showing up at the farmer’s market. Back then they commanded a premium price and there was no shortage of winter-weary shoppers who rushed to buy them. I was one of those people.
While the time-honored, over-the-sink tomato sandwich is the first rite of summer, I tend to add some bacon to the mix. That sweet tart tomato taste hits the tongue and you think you’ll never tire of this combination.
And then after a few weeks of over indulgence you start to realize your love affair is beginning to wane. You return to the farmers market every week and continue to buy tomatoes of all hues and sizes because in your head you’re thinking, “In a few weeks, these are going to be gone until next summer.”
But you’ve eaten all the sliced tomatoes, tomato salads and BLTs you can stand. So you make roasted tomatoes, not because you want to eat them right away but because you can freeze them. In December, when a fresh tomato is a distant memory you can pull out your lovely roasted version and summer’s here all over again.
6 medium tomatoes
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar
Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in half, cutting off the tops and bottoms so the tomatoes sit flat in a rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.
Roast for 3-4 hours until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to brown.
To make a simple pasta sauce, just chop up the tomatoes and toss them, along with the olive oil they were cooked in, with some freshly cooked pasta.