Roasted Tomatoes with Basil & Thyme

I planted a couple more tomato plants this year than I usually do, and boy, it’s been challenging to keep up!  I head out to the garden with the girls and we return with gallon pails piled high.  Although it’s fun to harvest (and to eat!) so much homegrown goodness,  I’ve made the same mental note the last couple of times we’ve returned from the garden with those loaded pails…

Dear Brenda:
Next spring, don’t be so tempted by all the fun names on the tomato plant tags!

Really, though, we are having fun with it.  Neighbors have been known to answer their doors, only to find two smiling young girls with tomatoes to share.  And we’ve been eating tomatoes like crazy.  Seems like most meals lately have involved some sort of tomato inspired dish and we’ve been making our way through numerous gigantic bowls of fresh salsa.

A few days ago Hatti helped me roast up two large pans of plum tomatoes while Tessa napped.  This is one of those recipes that always leaves me awestruck.  The stupendous flavor emitted from such simple ingredients is incredible.  And these roasted tomatoes can be enjoyed in so many different ways.  My favorite way is straight off the roasting pan, while they are still warm and my house smells like our family suddenly turned Italian.  The aroma is deep and concentrated. Rich authentic tomato to the core.  It’s quite heavenly.

I also like to stir the roasted tomatoes into cheese tortellini, which makes for a very simple, very tasty meal.  Grilled steak and roasted chicken beg to be sided with them.  Plus, they make a great pizza topping.

On top of all those choices, roasted tomatoes play the lead role in an easy appetizer.  Just cut a small baguette into 1/4″ slices, lightly brush both sides of each slice with a bit of olive oil, and pop them into a 375° oven.  Let them bake about 3 minutes per side and remove from the oven.  Top each baguette slice with a roasted tomato half.  You could sprinkle with a bit of fresh parmesan, or spread some goat cheese onto the baguette before adding the tomato.  Trust me, after one bite, it’s very hard to stop eating these.

These tomatoes are also a breeze to freeze.  Just place them in plastic freezer containers, making sure they have a bit of oil covering their tops.  Then pull them out whenever your spaghetti or pizza sauces need a little boost.  I welcome anything that will bring a bit of summer into a long winter, and these concentrated bites of summer yum are welcome in my kitchen any time.

Roasted Tomatoes with Basil & Thyme
(print recipe)

24 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2″ c. olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp. sugar
3 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
20 large fresh basil leaves, julienned
1 T. fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 450°.  Prepare a large rimmed pan by covering it in foil (easy clean-up!) and spraying lightly with vegetable oil.

Arrange tomatoes on pan, cut sides up, in a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, basil, and thyme.

Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until tomatoes start to caramelize and the flavors concentrate.  Your kitchen will smell tremendous!  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source:  a farmgirl’s dabbles

   

18 Responses to “Roasted Tomatoes with Basil & Thyme”

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    1
    Andrea @ Simple Organized Living — August 23, 2010 at 9:32 am

    These look delicious…I have SO many tomatoes and I’m going to do soemthing with them today! {at least that’s the plan}

    I may have to try out a few of your ideas!

  2. #
    2
    Jessica — August 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Yum! This sounds delicious!

  3. #
    3
    Nancy Hustel — August 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Brenda, Am trying this recipe. I have made your yeast waffles and raspberry-blackberry jam. They were wonderful.

  4. #
    4
    Nancy Hustel — August 23, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Today I did the roasted tomatoes with basil and thyme. I had the herbs out in the garden. Quite odd that I would have all the ingredients on hand. They were scrumptious.

    • farmgirl replied on August 24th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

      Nancy – thanks so much for letting me know! I’m glad you enjoyed them.

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    5
    Jacquelyn — August 24, 2010 at 10:18 am

    These look delicious! This post made me go out to our garden to see if we had any tomatoes ready!

    • farmgirl replied on August 24th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

      Jacquelyn, I hope you had some ready – you won’t regret making this!

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    6
    Stephanie — August 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks so much for this great idea! I tweaked the recipe with some beautiful big boy tomato slices (and minus the thyme, since I didn’t have any!)… and my hubby and I gobbled them up!

    • farmgirl replied on August 26th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

      That’s great Stephanie! It is a very versatile recipe, just waiting to be tweaked with whatever is on hand. So glad you and yours enjoyed them!

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    7
    Kari — August 27, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Brenda- my neighbor and I both are dying to make these- (I actually planted a few tomatoes this year) but neither one of us can figure out the julienned thyme thing- I saw thyme at the Farmer’s Market- do I just chop it really small or what? your pictures of these tomatoes made me drool they look so yummy!! I have some old tomato recipes of my Mom’s I should dig out and share with you…

    • farmgirl replied on August 27th, 2010 at 8:31 am

      Hi Kari! The basil is to be julienned, the thyme leaves can be left whole. To juilienne, simply stack your basil leaves all on top of eachother. Then tightly roll them up the long way and slice thinly cross-wise. You’ll end up with beautiful little ribbons of basil. If you haven’t used fresh thyme before, to remove the little leaves from the stem (don’t use any thick woody stems for recipes like this), you just hold the stem with one hand, and with the other hand’s fingers, strip off the leaves by running your pinched fingers the opposite way the leaves grew. Hatti always says this job takes so much time, with little results. :-) But you really don’t use much, since thyme is so packed with flavor. I would love some new tomato recipes, pass them along!!

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    Judy — August 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    I love your recipe for the Roasted Tomatoes….anyway of preserving them. Can they be frozen?
    Thank you for any input! ;)

    • Brenda replied on August 18th, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Hello Judy! Yes, this can be frozen. I try to freeze some every summer – such a treat during the middle of winter, to add them to pasta sauces!!

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