Slow-roasted grape tomatoes are a perfect lazy weekend treat, and they’re an especially good way to breathe new life into tomatoes that are slightly past their prime. These tomatoes can be roasted at a higher temperature for faster results (I’ve included instructions), but when I have enough time, my preferred method is low and slow. The flavors of the tomatoes, garlic and olive oil become wonderfully intense, and the kitchen smells amazing. If you’ve ever wondered what umami tastes like, you need these oven-roasted tomatoes.
Roasted tomatoes are a thing of beauty. Regardless of shape and size, tomatoes taste incredible after spending some time in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper.
I’ve shared a variety of roasted tomato recipes before, everything from a simple Roasted Tomato Tart to a more complex Mediterranean Salad with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette. I never get tired of the intense, rich flavor.
However, no matter how many ways I prepare them, absolutely nothing compares to roasting tomatoes slowly in the oven on a low temperature. Especially grape or cherry tomatoes. They turn into little candied jewels that burst with each bite.
These oven-roasted grape tomatoes are so addictive. I serve them over crostini that’s been brushed with the infused olive oil and then spread with a bit of roasted garlic. A total umami bomb.
In my opinion, roasting tomatoes is all about the low and slow. You’ll still get tasty results with higher roasting temperatures, but the flavor is so much more concentrated if you have time and a bit of patience.
This is the ultimate lazy Sunday recipe.
- As I’ve said, I think slow-roasted grape tomatoes are best, but I’ve also included instructions for how to prepare this recipe in under an hour using a higher temperature. The main difference is to keep the herbs out of the oven. Their flavors will infuse in the hot oil while the crostini toasts.
- It may look like the tomatoes and garlic are swimming in olive oil, but that’s kind of the point. We’re infusing the oil here. You can use it for dunking bread, storing leftover tomatoes, drizzle it on salad. It’s good stuff. You can always drain the tomatoes briefly on paper towels before serving like you would bacon. Or not.
- I almost always line my baking sheet, but you’ll notice I didn’t here. Foil or parchment would trap too much of that tasty oil. If you stir periodically and gently scrape the sheet pan with a spatula, nothing will have a chance to cook onto the bottom of the pan.
- Other herbs would work here in addition to or in place of the oregano and thyme. Basil, chives, etc.
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Slow-roasted grape tomatoes are a perfect lazy weekend treat, and are an especially good way to breathe new life into tomatoes that are past their prime. The flavors of the tomatoes, garlic and olive oil become wonderfully intense, and the kitchen smells amazing.
- 1 pound grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5- 6 medium or large garlic cloves, lightly smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, or to taste
- French baguette, sliced on the bias
Place an oven rack on the center shelf and preheat to 250 degrees F.
On a rimmed baking sheet, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar. (I don’t recommend lining the sheet, because foil and/or parchment will waste some of the resulting infused oil).
Roast for 2 hours, stirring every 30-45 minutes. You can stir less often, but I like to scrape the bottom of the pan regularly to ensure nothing sticks.
After 2 hours, stir in the oregano and thyme, then reduce the heat to 200 degrees F. Continue cooking and occasionally stirring for another 1 - 2 hours, or until the skins are shriveled and bursting and your kitchen smells amazing.
Remove the pan from the oven and turn the heat up to 350 degrees F. Transfer the contents of the pan, including all of the oil, into a medium-sized bowl. Brush some of the infused oil onto the crostini and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until golden and crisp.
Serve the tomatoes over the crostini, garnished with some additional chopped fresh herbs. You can optionally spread a thin layer of roasted garlic on the crostini as well. The oil is excellent for bread dunking.
Place leftover tomatoes and oil in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for approximately 3-5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
You can omit the sugar, especially if the tomatoes are very sweet, but I recommend leaving it in. It may seem redundant since tomatoes are already sweet, but it adds caramelization, which enhances the flavors without overpowering.
Other fresh herbs like basil would world well in this recipe.
For a faster version of the recipe:
On a rimmed baking sheet, roast the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar at 350 degrees F for around 20 minutes, until the skins begin to shrivel, stirring once midway through. Remove the pan from the oven, and scrape the contents into a bowl (including all of the oil). Brush some of the oil onto the bread slices and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until crispy and golden. Meanwhile, stir the oregano and thyme into the tomatoes and let the flavors infuse while the crostini toasts.
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