After the zucchini go wild the tomatoes start.
Mon mari believes that my over-productive garden is a direct result of me planting more than two normal humans (and their neighbors) can consume.
I maintain that I am practicing preventive gardening.
If I only planted two zucchini, one would die and we wouldn't have enough for me to freeze for winter.
I plant four, two green and two yellow, they all thrive and produce like crazy.
I also plant for variety: I have red, yellow, orange and black tomatoes, as well as Romas and cherries.
As to the cherry tomatoes, I know that one plant would be sufficient, but I really wanted both red and yellow… Then I saw the white.
White Cherry Tomatoes? Well, I had to have that, now, didn't I!
You know how it goes: The first little cherry tomato gets ripe. You eat it right off the vine.
Two days later you have enough for a small salad.
Two days later you have enough for a pasta.
Two days later you can hardly carry the basket back to the house.
Regular tomatoes I cook and freeze and make sauce and salsa and can happily use every one my garden gives me.
But I peel them.
The little cherry tomatoes are a different story.
I have, of course, just tossed the lot in a blender, puréed them and used them as a sauce…. But I didn't like it as well as the sauce I make with the regular tomatoes.
I thought about oven-drying them.
I Googled oven-dried cherry tomatoes.
Two things I didn't like: All the recipes called for salting them. Why? We don't need extra salt.
None of the recipes called for peeling them. Well, we know why….
But cherry tomatoes have a tough skin.
It's only going to get tougher after being dried or frozen.
As usual, I forged my own path. I peeled; I didn't salt.
It was all easy.
And WOW!!!!! Are they GOOD!
A question: Do you ever watch TV? Sit and listen to music? Enjoy an aperitif before dinner?
That's when you peel the little buggers!
I had twice the tomatoes you see in the photo by the time I was through picking. I peeled them all, while watching TV, in about 30 minutes.
To peel: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Drop in the tomatoes and blanch for 35 seconds. Drain and plunge into cold water until thoroughly cooled. Drain.
Next time you're relaxing with idle hands, take 3 bowls – 1 for the unpeeled tomatoes, 1 for the peels and 1 for the peeled tomatoes. With a sharp knife, prick the skin on a tomato, slip the skin off with your fingers. Repeat.
The little red ones stayed perfectly whole; the gold and yellow ones didn't. Next time I'll pick them before they are quite so perfectly ripe.
To oven-dry: Spread them out in a baking dish, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and roast, 200F (100C) until the surface is dry but a bit of moisture remains inside, 2 – 3 hours.
You want them to be like a very juicy raisin.
When completely cool, pop them into freezer bags, in small quantities, and freeze.
Yeah, I know…. bags are a little big for the job, but my local store has a very poor selection. Freezer bags are on my shopping list for Bordeaux tomorrow.
I divided them, based on the quantities I had before peeling and drying, into thirds. It was about 3 tbs of dried tomatoes per bag.
There would have been more but they're were so good! Incredibly sweet with very intense tomato flavor.
To be honest, I hadn't expected them to be quite that good.
And without the salt!
They will be wonderful added to soups, stews, stir-fries, pastas, rices….
Maybe puréed with a bit of goat cheese and spread on fresh, hot crusty bread….
Go ahead, cherry tomatoes, give me all you've got!
11 thoughts on “Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes”
Those tomatoes look soooo good. I am hoping just to get enough this year for salads, anything else would be a bonus. Life would certainly be sad without the beloved tomato!
I’ve had tomatoe plants planted in the greenhouse since late May. Still no tomatoes.
I love your prep and roasting method. So simple and easy. Perfect. Now I just need the tomatoes …
I do this. Well, I add the salt. Good on Sandwiches in the winter. I picked and ate my first one straight from the vine yesterday, but I won’t have an more for a little while yet.
Yeah, well I planted one tomato plant this year … I got one tomato … since we don’t have any tv, cable or whatever maybe it’s a good thing … no, I wish I had as many as you’ve got.
Clever girl! I don’t have any tomato plants this year but I could purchase lots of cherry tomatoes at the farmer’s market and process them for the winter.
There is nothing that can compare to plucking a ripe tomato right off the plant!
I know what you mean. I misread how much I was supposed to plant for 2 people, and instead planted enough for 4. Now you’ve given me ideas on how to freeze! I love cooking tomatoes but the little cherries are so good garden fresh, no? They’re so sweet, it’s like candy.
Love this post! I can just see that garden (reminds me of mine a couple of years ago…) Lovely writing!
You peeled the tomatoes?!
(It’s my feeling your thinking is right about how many plants in the garden. If there were only two, there’d be no sense of competition between the plants. They’d get all complacent. But four… then they can race. They can feel like if they produce bigger, more, better fruit, there will be a prize.)
Ina, once cherry tomatoes get started they can’t seem to quit – maybe you’ll be lucky!
Christine, mine seemed to take forever – then one day they exploded
LeAnn, sandwiches, yeah, I could definitely see that.A bit of summer!
Tanna, you coud do it while watching the sun set….Sorry about your tomato
Zoomie, they should be cheap…. they go so crazy!
Val, that’s the nice thing about working in the garden now – lunch from the vines!
Nirmala, they are… and I eat so many…. but they got away from me and I had to do something!
Elizabeth, yes, I peeled them. If one (me) is going to complain about the tough skins (not on fresh tomatoes) one must peel. My plants are anything but complacent!
Aha. Well that’s alright then. I know that one (me) would complain much more loudly about peeling the tomatoes than about encountering tough skins.
Katie is right, Ina. (Of course, she’s right.) We once had a cherry tomato plant (that seeded itself from our compost that we scattered) grow high up into our neighbour’s evergreen tree. We got zillions of tomatoes from that plant and so did the birds and squirrels from the parts of the plant that were too high for us to reach.
Why were there cherry tomato seeds in the compost? From the year before when I had ripped one out because it was taking over the garden triffid-style.
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