I want tomatoes on my burgers and salads all year round. But alas, here in New York City I’m tied to the tomato season, which dictates that I can only eat and serve fresh tomatoes between July and September.
In order to satisfy my cravings and free myself from seasonal constraints, I oven-roast tomatoes and keep them on hand at all times. So many chefs for whom I’ve worked have used this technique; the seasonings may vary but it’s all the same idea: to intensify flavor by roasting. Removing the moisture leads to a stronger, more concentrated flavor that renders otherwise watery, flavorless, out-of-season tomatoes edible and delicious.
4 beefsteak tomatoes, halved horizontally
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
PREP: HALVE THE TOMATOES • CHOP THE THYME LEAVES
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF and make sure the oven rack is in the center position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place the tomatoes cut side up on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with the salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Roast the tomatoes for 1½ to 2 hours, or until they have shrunk by 50 percent and are starting to wrinkle and intensify in color.
- Let the tomatoes cool fully, then place them in associate degree airtight instrumentality and refrigerate.
These tomatoes will keep for up to one week and can be added to practically any dish you can think of! They’re great in egg scrambles, in vinaigrette's, in sauces, in pasta, as a vegetable garnish, on a sandwich . . . the possibilities are endless.