I make these tomatoes often, mostly at the end of garden season, and have done so ever since I opened the cover of the French Laundry cookbook and found Chef Thomas Keller’s recipe. You can use a recipe other than Keller’s recipe but at least do as Keller does and make sure you season the tomatoes with salt and pepper before roasting them and make sure you cook them over a long period of time in a low heat oven.
I say this for a simple reason. If they aren’t seasoned before you cook them they just aren’t very good and why go to the trouble if they aren’t going to be good, you won’t eat them and they will just sit in the fridge taking up space. Season them agressively and you will be happy.
One thing to make note of. I don’t peel the tomatoes until I use them. The skin, I think, holds them together while in the jar but is really easy to peel off before you use them.
If you try them on a thin crust homemade pizza some Friday night don’t blame me when pizza is never again the same.
Recipe adapted from The French Laundry Cookbook
Makes 1 quart
30 to 36 Roma or San Marzano tomatoes, perfectly ripe, stemmed and halved
kosher or sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
a handful of fresh savory or thyme sprigs
extra virgin olive oil
1. Heat the oven to 275˚F.
2. Spread to tomato halves out onto a half sheet tray lined with foil. Season the tomatoes evenly with salt and fresh ground pepper. Spread the savory or thyme out over the tomatoes. Place the sheet tray into the oven.
3. Bake the tomatoes for 3 hours or until they have shrunk but still tender. It may take longer then three hours depending on how juicy the tomatoes are to begin with.
4. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool.
5. Once they have cooled pack them into a 1 quart jar, or a smaller jar if need be, and then use a spatula to get all the oil, accumulated juices and herbs off the tray and into the jar. Top the jar off with olive oil to cover.
6. Store in the fridge but remember pull them out about an hour before you need them so the oil warms and you can easily remove the tomatoes without breaking them.