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Preserved Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Open a jar of this umami packed garden glory!

Last year was the first year Vanja “made me” stop buying “fresh” tomatoes from the supermarket during the Winter. “They don’t even taste anything like a tomato. I am not eating these. Stop buying them.” And, he was right, of course. I was even buying them from Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market, but not from Gull Valley Farms because they don’t grow tomatoes indoors in the winter. I asked them why this fall. Their answer: “They don’t taste good.”

“I want winter salads. I crave them in the winter.” was Vanja’s plea. What is a “winter salad”? Canned vegetables preserved from the garden to be eaten in the cold weather. His mother has an entire library of preserves she makes for the winter.

As I always grow far more tomatoes than we can ever eat fresh (except for this past summer, of course), I started oven roasting them and preserving them for the winter. So easy.

And, when I opened a jar of my oven roasted tomatoes for the Slow Food Edmonton Solstice Supper a week ago, I couldn’t wait for my lunch the next day: slices of fresh, young, Bocconcini generously slathered with thick spoonfuls of this intensely delicious “winter salad”. I was in heaven.

It is the BEST THIS I HAVE EVER ATE!

So, when Val from More Than Burnt Toast initiated a little bit of fun with inviting her readers to share “The Best Thing You Ever Ate (recently)” I was in! I usually never participate in this kind of sharing as I just cannot make the deadlines. I have to many in my “real life”, and deadlines in my hobby life are just too much to bare – but this one was a pleasure!

Resurrect your best dish or dishes and submit them to More Than Burnt Toast at bestdisheverate(AT)gmail(DOT)com by midnight February 15th. Your dish can be anything from a cocktail to dessert  The only requirement is that it is one of the “Best Things You Ever Ate” (recently)!!!!! You can send in a dish that you have previously posted as well but you will need to repost it with a link back to this challenge. Please use the Avatar “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” above, if you wish, along with a little story about why this is the best thing you have ever eaten (recently) and link back to http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com/. I will round-up all of your outstanding dishes the last week in February.

Look at that succulent tomato flesh sprinkled with Black Hawaiian salt. I cannot get enough of this dish. Often, I serve bite sized baby Bocconcini in it for parties and it is not just me raving. My school staff was crazy over it last year.

One slice is plenty as an appetizer, or as “we say now”, and “amuse bouche”. Does this little bite ever get your palate excited!

Sundried tomatoes are intense and these oven roasted tomatoes resemble that intensity with a completely different texture. Slow roasted in the oven with a lot of fresh garlic, Maldon Sea Salt and really good Olive oil is all it takes. My oven can be set at 170°F, so I actually “roast” them at this very, very low temperature for about 24 hours. I do several casserole dishes at a time to maximize the oven use over such a long period, and definitely turn the tomatoes a few times during the roasting… and the result is dish lickin’ good. I do not let a drop of the ruby juices linger in the dish.

I have drizzled a little more fruity olive oil on this serving. It is very intense and this offers a lovely contrast to the depth of garlicy tomato incredibleness.

I peer into the jar, deciding, should I, or shouldn’t I?

And decide I have had enough for this day.

Sometimes simple is best. This is absolutely THE BEST THING I EVER ATE in a very long time.

What is the best thing you have eaten lately? Think about it… then post it, and link to Val’s site with it in time for the round up! Or, at the very least – tell me about it! It is such fun to think about what it would be!

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About Valerie Lugonja

Educator, Writer, Gardener and Traveler who believes in buying and eating locally, and most importantly cooking at home!

Join The Conversation!

  1. This looks like an amazing tomato preserve that would work for so many different preparations. I love preserving food. Bookmarked!

    Nisrine

  2. I’ve been really craving salads lately too. Not just greens, but a loaded salad with tons of flavor. None that I make seem to be doing the job. Summer can’t come soon enough

  3. Without a doubt in my mind, your pavlova, Valerie! I’m not just saying this to suck up, really. I’m waiting for my parents and bro and sis in-law to come back from their vacation so I can make it. Something that delicious cannot go to any waste, but I know as delicious as it is, Gary and I cannot finish it on our own. If I cut the recipe in half will it work? If so, do o need to adjust the temperature for baking? I’m so afraid to mess it up but I know there’s no way I can finish something that big. I remember you saying it doesn’t have a very long shelf life either. So I’ve been waiting and waiting…sigh. Plus, it’s such a shame to make it and not have really good fresh fruits to top it with also…double sigh. My parents are gone, brother and sis in-law are gone, and my in-laws don’t live here so Gary and I are left alone this Chinese New Years. Yup, left alone to dig ourselves out of all this snow. Lol.

    Anyways, those appetizers DO look delicious. Just look at the colour on those tomatoes, and the fruity olive oil is such a perfect ingredient pairing. So simple, yet so scrumptious and beautiful too. I’ll bet I could eat those tomatoes by the spoonful. Great pictures and great pick, Valerie!

    • LeQuan!
      Here is the perfect solution for you!
      Make the pavlova recipe and instead of making a big one, make six to eight small rounds on parchment paper. Bake them the same way, and then just put the cream and fruit on a small one. Easy Peasy. The others will keep for quite sometime in a cool dry place.
      Happy eating!
      :)
      Valerie

      • Ooh, great suggestion! I actually thought of that after reading Anna’s Pavlova Burger post but wasn’t sure if the temp needed adjustment. Thanks Valerie!

  4. I mde thse last summer and they are splendid.

  5. Wow is all I can say right now Valerie. I am mesmerized by your tomatoes and am whishing that I had preserved a boat load of these when tomatoes were at their peak. I have applied for a plot in the community garden but my hopes for growing my own heirloom tomatoes are a far off fantasy. Wouldn’t heirlooms be gorgeous as well with their sweet flavours intensified. It is early in the morning and already I am wanting to head to the market.

  6. Wow that does look like it would be really high up on my list! Brilliant to preserve tomatoes this way! And a perfect delectible way to eat them all winter! I have to say that a couple of the best things I have ever eaten are my son’s Tiramisu and my husband’s Seafood Choucroute. Wow!

  7. Texture is a big reason why I don’t like sun-dried tomatoes. I wonder if this is the answer. I sometimes feel like I am the only human who does not like sdt’s.

  8. LOL, Vanja tops Mr P’s high maintenance personality. A whole larder of hand canned summer veggies? Wow, that sounds like some back breaking labour LOL, but I do believe you that it was absolutely awesome. It looks amazing.
    The best thing I ever ate? God, that is like having to choose a favorite child or something ;). What comes to mind at the moment is samosas at Shaeen Shah, London
    http://www.donutstodelirium.com/2010/04/the-best-samosas-in-the-world/
    and also just fried donuts sprinkled in powdered sugar.
    Neither are healthy of course.
    *kisses* HH

    • HH!
      YUM! I am glad you provided the link! I will absolutely have to put THAT little place on my list should I get to London again sometime soon!
      :)
      Valerie

  9. Winter salads are an absolutely brilliant idea and I love how you roast and preserve your own tomatoes! Wow, does this appetizer look amazing! The best thing I ate lately was cheese pastries (http://www.anediblemosaic.com/?p=4460), but this appetizer of yours looks even more delicious than the pastries!!

  10. Oh I love the rich color and just KNOW they would taste heavenly! I bet the texture is greatly improved from store-bought. Can’t wait to try them!

  11. Those look marvelous, Valerie. We’re so fortunate in Florida to have lovely fruits and vegetables year round. I DO like to roast fresh tomatoes which intensifies the flavors and I adore a salad with those, mozzarella and basil.

    As far as Val’s Best Thing I Ever Ate, I’ve given it a lot of thought and really can’t narrow it down to one thing. I’ve got a lot of years under my belt and a lot of fabulous foods in my memory from my grandmother’s rhubarb pie to something as simple as homemade noodles, fried with gruyere and shallots. And the restaurants! Some divine things there as well. And my sister-in-law’s fried chicken. No recipe for that, and she’s no longer with us. See the problem? I can’t choose, so I’ll have to enjoy everyone else’s favorites.

  12. I hope there was some nice crusty artisanal bread to accompany that wonderful dish.

  13. OH how amazing, summer’s harvest enjoyed at winter time..funny all i crave in the winter is soup and salad for lunch. I miss having a garden, back home we had plenty of room, here at our apt..nothing but concreate..oh weel only 1 year left here and we shall return homw to our garden, we do have some farmers growing tomatoes, but they are few..oh goodness the best thing I ever ate..how do you narrow this down?

    sweetlife
    have a great week!

  14. This is a perfect use for my last few ovendried tomatoes!

  15. What a great post! I am so wishing I could just pop into your neighborhood tomorrow and try some of these preserved beauties! I just bought a tomato yesterday, and I have to say that it tasted so bland! It made me long for the days of summer. I’m going to have to follow in your footsteps this next season. I need to spoil myself with such deliciousness all year round. I have been making some delicious tarts, and the lemon one I made for my mom last week has to be the best thing I’ve had in a while! Thank you for sharing another great post with. I hope that you have a wonderful Tuesday filled with love and good eating!

  16. we love oven roasted tomatoes! did it over the summer and they were fantastic – especially since it came straight from our garden. the flavors are intense and bold… something you just can’t find at a store. nice touch to yours!

  17. Oh, my. These are amazing. We make these in the summer, but I’ve never thought of preserving them for the winter (duh!). Genius idea!

    I’m trying to figure out what is the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Difficult. It probably depends on how recently I’ve had some great chocolate or sticky finger-licking ribs or juicy sun-kissed raspberries. I’m afraid I can’t pick just one…

    BTW, Serendipity now has email notification–I finally figured it out. (double duh!) Hugs from Belgium

  18. This post brings up the characteristic I like most about you Valerie…the excitement and enthusiasm you reveal when describing your appreciative moments with food. I can almost feel you next to me enjoying every bite ;o)
    I love roasted veggies…especially peppers and tomatoes.

    Have a great day and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  19. Hey Valerie! I would look into that jar, and say “should I? I should!!!” ;) As an amuse bouche, your tomatoes would have me salivating for more. Especially at this time of year, with a dearth of fresh garden veggies, your preserved tomatoes must be a wonderfully colorful bite – much better than what you can buy fresh in the store now, I agree! I’ve never been much good at preserving (my sister Courtney the Master Gardener is the expert at that), but I do love eating preserved summer and fall produce.

    The best thing I’ve eaten lately … hmm … probably this chicken stirfry Peter made a few days ago, covered in “Stange Sauce” (yes, that’s what it’s called!).

    Have a great day, Valerie!

  20. I love to make oven roasted tomatoes too. Unfortunately, we eat them all before winter even begins. I’ve never tried them on fresh mozzarella which I love with fresh tomatoes but that sounds wonderful!

    Best thing I ever ate – I’ll have to think about that one!

  21. Wow, your preserved oven roasted tomatoes look spectacular! A perfectly delicious bite as an amuse bouche!

  22. I love your husband how he keeps you on your toes dear Valerie! So we have him to thank for this wonderful idea! You are motivating me to start making these as soon as the summer starts; we get flooded with huge heirlooms and end up selling them. Much better to can them like you did!

  23. oh, Valerie, is there anything that you can’t do? :-))
    The 3rd picture is really killing me….

  24. Wow these oven roasted tomatoes sound amazing! I don’t think I have ever had them….I need to try them!!!

  25. i agree with the rest. this is a great post.. and yeah, the pictures are just making me crave for some right now.

  26. My goodness these tomatoes look gooooooood :)

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