By Debbie Koenig
When my kid announces, “I hate tomatoes,” I shrug.
“Great, more for me,” I say. I utter that phrase whenever he declares he doesn’t like something, because I cling to the belief that if I hide my dismay, he’ll start eating new foods just to spite me. The thing is, when he says he doesn’t like tomatoes, I really do think, Yippee, more for me!
So this time of year, I go tomato-crazy. I come home from the farmers’ market with two pints each of cherry and Sun Gold tomatoes (those super-sweet, yellow-orange ones), three or four lumpy, ugly-as-sin but über-tasty heirlooms, each weighing as much as a pound, and a good half-dozen deep red, regular ol’ tomatoes, their skin barely yielding to my finger. My husband laughs at my excess — without kiddo on Team Tomato, it’s just the two of us to eat all this. But then he starts popping Sun Golds into his mouth, and next thing he knows the first pint is gone.
With dinner that night I slice up an heirloom and drizzle it with a bit of olive oil, and season it with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Alongside a grilled steak or chicken breast and an ear of corn, it needs nothing more. I’ll have an heirloom for lunch once or twice in the coming week, too. The red tomatoes I use for salads and—diced and tossed with a bit of oil, minced garlic, and slivered basil—as a fresh pasta sauce. The other pint of Sun Golds I leave on the counter, to nibble as needed. And the two pints of cherry tomatoes, I sort-of preserve, by slow-roasting them until they shrink down into still-juicy, intensely flavored jewels.
Stowed in the fridge, they’ll last a few weeks. But since I use them with abandon on pizza, with pasta, and in pan sauces for chicken or fish, they never last that long.
Slow-Roasted Tomatoes Cherry
0 SmartPoints® value per serving
1 lb cherry or Campari tomatoes, halved
2 tsp olive oil, divided[CE3]
6–8 garlic cloves, separated but unpeeled
Salt and black pepper
- Set oven to 200°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place tomatoes cut-side up on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tsp oil.
- Rub remaining 1 tsp oil on the garlic cloves and scatter them on the baking sheet. Season everything lightly with salt and pepper, and bake for 3–4 hours, until the tomatoes’ edges are shriveled and the tops are sunken, but the tomatoes are not leathery.
- Use right away, or discard garlic peels and refrigerate tomatoes and garlic in an airtight container, topped with olive oil, for a few weeks. (Adjust your SmartPoints value to reflect additional oil used.)
Read more Picky Kid, Busy Mom.