August 12th, 2014

Joy’s Slooooow Roasted Tomatoes


Amish Paste, Red Pear, Roma

When I was planting my garden earlier this spring, I included, on a whim, one plant from each of these meaty oval-shaped tomato varieties.

I figured, if they produced, they would be good for making thick red sauces, even ketchup.


And, boy, are they producing! Each week, for the past month, I’ve been harvesting an abundance of the brilliant red orbs, turning them into sauces and salsas.

But my new favorite way is this slow roasting method, introduced to me by Joy Martin.

Joy is a master gardener, and I would extend that master descriptor to cook and baker. She is also one of our devoted Third Thursday potluckers. You’ll find several of her recipes, including the one I’m about to share with you, in my cookbook.


Slow roasted tomatoes. That may not sound exciting—don’t we roast everything these days?—and the recipe is deceptively simple. It’s the slow slow roast, coupled with a seasoning of olive oil, fresh garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar, that yields surprisingly complex, intensely savory-sweet tomatoes, with deep, rich umami taste.

A cautionary note: Don’t leave out the sugar. I resisted sprinkling it over the halves at first, but in combination with the salt, the sugar coaxes out the maximum flavor.


Look! They are glistening jewels. They taste like the sun.


You’ll find numerous uses for them: placed onto grilled bruschetta, dropped onto a rosemary cracker, tucked into a toasted BLT, tossed in a fresh pasta.

Or, do as we do: eat them out of the jar.

Around my house, we call ’em tomato candy!


2 pounds Roma tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced or shaved
Olive oil (about 1/4 cup or so)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano or thyme
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish, or on a baking sheet in a single layer, skin side down. Distribute garlic evenly over the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and generously sprinkle with oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar. Bake for 2 to 3 hours. After cooling, place the halves into jars, and pour over herbed olive oil and juices collected in the sheet pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Recipes, Sauces, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian Dishes

22 Responses to “Joy’s Slooooow Roasted Tomatoes”
  1. Joyti Says:

    I LOVE, love slow-roasted tomatoes. Never tried the technique with Roma tomatoes though. These look particularly delicious!

  2. Michele | Cooking At Home Says:

    Nancy, I’ve had these tomatoes on my to-be-tried list since I first saw them in your wonderful book. Still waiting to find some glorious romas to make this happen. Hope you enjoy what’s left of your very busy summer.

  3. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Joyti–this technique really works so well.

    Hi Michele–I hope that you find the right romas soon. I know that you will enjoy them prepared this way.

  4. Teresa, foodonfifth Says:

    These are just fantastic Nance. I am definitely using this recipe this weekend for some of my little red orbs of deliciousness. Thank you and thanks to Joy for adding another “what to do with all these tomatoes” recipe that is fresh and easy. Well Done my friend.

  5. Barbara Greene Says:

    Oh Nance,
    This recipe could not come at a better time. Our tomatoes came in a bit late this year, now we have more than we can use or give away! A question…after preparing, can we freeze, like with food saver bags?

  6. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Barbara–Yes, these would freeze just fine, in the olive oil in which they were slow roasted. I think you’ll love ’em!

  7. fluffy Says:

    I love them. We have had some amazing simple dinners with tomato candy.

    who is the gorilla holding the prop?

  8. goodfoodmatters Says:

    that’s a manly hand you might recognize, fluffy!

  9. Juliana Says:

    OMG Nancy, these slow roasted tomatoes look fabulous and we all should have it handy… I will make sure that I have on my list roma tomatoes next time at the grocery…thanks for the recipe.
    Hope you are having a fabulous week :D

  10. Wendy Says:

    I was lucky enough to have a taste of these little jewels—absolutely delicious!!!

  11. ernestine Says:

    Oh my
    they sound delicious.
    Will try soon with gifted tomatoes.
    Envy you with your garden
    as none by the woods this year
    but a few small plants tucked
    among plants in sunny areas
    are just enough for this one :)
    Thank you always for visiting’
    “this one.”

  12. Dedy@Dentist Chef Says:

    Wow, damn delicious roasted tomatoes!!!
    lovin to made pesto or marinara with kickin tangy flavour of it…

  13. heather Says:

    I’ve never thought to do this, thank you for the inspiration! Next year I’m going to have a tomato plant – even if it’s just one, even if it has to be in a pot!

  14. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Ernestine, Dedy, heather–I have been truly surprised by how much I love these! the taste is so pleasurably intense.

  15. Gerlinde Says:

    I love slow roasted tomatoes. They are such a treat. We have dry farmed tomatoes here in Santa Cruz and I have roasted them before. I will try it with Roma tomatoes next. Thanks for the recipe.

  16. Beth Says:

    I think roasted anything is exciting! Great way to serve tomatoes.

  17. Thalia @ butter and brioche Says:

    wow those slow roasted tomatoes look delicious! definitely worth the incredibly loonnng cooking time..

  18. Tammy Says:

    There is nothing better!

  19. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    trying this! Like seriously trying this. i have so many tomatoes in my garden right now and what better to do with them than roast and jar them. AWESOME IDEA and those pictures make me drool

  20. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Gerlinde–I hadn’t heard of “Dry Farming” until I read your comment, and I so just finished reading about the method, used where winters are very wet and summers very dry. So interesting, and much better for the environment.

    Exactly, Thalia—slooooow roasting over a looooong time = tomato candy

  21. Karen (Back Road Journal) Says:

    I slow roast tomatoes from my garden but have never added sugar. I’ll have to give it a try

  22. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    I adore slow roasted tomatoes. We usually use Early Girl tomatoes for roasting and only drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. I’ll have to try adding a little garlic, pepper, oregano, and sugar. I’m sure it will be delicious. I hope you are still enjoying your tomatoes and aren’t feeling all tomatoed out ; )

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