Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Roasted Summer Tomatoes (for Winter Enjoyment)

This week was a bit of a challenge with the CSA. We got the box on a Tuesday, and we knew we were leaving for Greece on Friday of that same week. So this week was all about seeing how much of the box I could freeze for later in the three evenings after work I had available in between packing and cleaning and everything else.

What I didn't have time to consume myself or otherwise store for later I figured my dad could handle - he generously volunteered to stay at our house with Sid Vicious while we were gone. For short trips a daily visit from a pet-sitter is sufficient, but for a ten day long trip I was worried he would get too attention-deprived, so I was relieved that my dad offered this enormous favor. Sid is more like a dog in that he seems to require a lot more interaction than other cats I've owned in the past.

By the way, I love how I tried to be all casual about our vacation by slipping in it at the end of that first sentence. Ha. I can't pull that off. Before this trip I had never been to Europe. Neither of us had. So this was actually a big freaking deal for both of us. Joe was going to Athens for a conference so I decided to tag along too. We had a great time! I'll be sure to share some photos in the next post.

CSA Week 14:

In the box: 1 head lettuce, 1 cucumber, 1 basket grape tomatoes, 1 pound Sweet Girl tomatoes, 4 ears of corn, 1 pound Romano Beans, 1 red onion, 1 head garlic, 1 basket blackberries, 1 basket strawberries

I froze the whole container of blackberries to add to my growing collection of CSA blackberries. I ate the strawberries for dessert by dipping them into a small bowl of melted chocolate chips.

The Romano beans were pretty easy to freeze as well; they just needed to be trimmed and blanched first.

The Sweet Girl tomatoes and red onion were combined with some store-bought Romas to make a double batch of this amazing Quinoa Caprese salad. Half went into our bellies, the other half was delivered to my friend Amy and her family who just brought home their new son from Taiwan. I loved this salad because 1) it makes great use of delicious summer tomatoes 2) you get all the elements of a traditional Caprese salad from the basil and big pieces of fresh mozzarella, and 3) it uses quinoa, the magical super grain full of fiber and protein. For lunch I put a big scoop of this salad on top of greens to add even more veggies.

I left the corn, cucumber, and the rest of the lettuce for my dad.

I saw an article in the local paper about roasting tomatoes in small batches and freezing for later to add to soups and sauces. I decided to try it out using the grape tomatoes from the box. I also used some cherry tomatoes from my own garden. That is the recipe I decided to share this week.

Roasted Summer Tomatoes (for Winter Enjoyment)
adapted from the Corvallis Gazette Times

Notes: The great thing about this method is that it works for large or small amounts of tomatoes, so if you have a small garden, you can roast whatever you harvest each week and just collect them in the freezer until you have an amount you can actually do something with later.  The result is a nice chunky mixture which could be used as a topping for polenta or a slice of crusty bread, as a thick sauce tossed with pasta, or a great way to beef up a soup. Oh, and it would be great as a topping for meat like steak, chicken, or fish.

Olive oil
Tomatoes (big, small, whatever you have), washed, stems removed, halved or quartered if large
Peeled garlic cloves
Fresh or dried herbs such as basil, oregano, or parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Generously drizzle some oil onto the bottom of a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

Roast until the tomatoes are starting to darken, stirring occasionally. Everything will have softened and there should be lots of tomato juices in the pan. I roasted cherry tomatoes which took between 20-30 minutes. It might take longer if you are using larger tomatoes.

Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Allow to cool. At this point, you can remove the skins if you'd like. They should peel away very easily. I was too lazy so I skipped this step. If you don't want a chunky sauce, you can puree the mixture in a food processor. Store in jars or plastic bags in the freezer. 


  1. I hope you have a fabulous time in Greece! How nice is it that your Dad was willing to take care of our cat while you're both away. I really wish we would have gotten a CSA this year. Your box looks so amazing!

  2. I really love the tomatoes prepared that way! I already thawed out some that I froze and they are just as delicious. Yay!

  3. Thank you for an insightful and useful post. The web is a better place with you writing!

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