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Slow-Baked Tomatoes

 

This recipe can be used as either a side dish, in which case it serves six. Or, it can be used as a meal itself. Then it would serve three.

If you have left over tomatoes from you garden this is a great dish to make to help you use up the end of season glut of tomatoes off your tomato plants.

If not, store bought tomatoes work just fine too.

I love to fix this on a cold, blustery, snowy day in winter. Number one, the oven is on for a full two hours making the kitchen area very warm and inviting. And the smell of fresh tomatoes roasting in the oven reminds me of spring soon to come.

This recipe is also super simple, quick, and easy. And even though tomatoes were not on the list of Foods Under $1 a Serving on yesterday’s post, this dish uses so few other ingredients it comes in under $2.00 per person whether you are serving three or six. 

Unfortunately, I do not know where this recipe came from. It looks like some ladies magazine. Maybe Ladies Home Journal????  But I did not write the source in my “cookbook.” So I really do not know. I am almost certain is not Martha Stewart’s as her magazine Everyday Food has a real distinct look and I can tell that look in about 5 seconds.

But the dish is really a universal tomato dish: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, fresh thyme.

I used vine-ripened Ohio grown tomatoes which were a little more expensive. I think with a dish this simple the freshest tomatoes ensures the best taste. If you make this in winter, or with hothouse tomatoes, add about ¼ or ½ teaspoon of sugar on the tomatoes.

Featured Recipe:            Slow-Baked Tomatoes
This is what you will need:

3 medium tomatoes

6 cloves garlic

6 sprigs fresh thyme

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Here is what you do:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

After washing the tomatoes, cut them in half cross wise.

Then squeeze out the seeds…………..Well….. I have to make a confession here.

I do not have good luck squeezing seeds from tomatoes. They look like they have been through a cycle of my washing machine by the time I am done.

So this is how I remove the seeds. I use a teaspoon and carefully and gently lift the seeds out. I use the end of the spoon to get seeds that are deep inside. But I also do not worry if I do not get all of the seeds. I am not a purist that way.

Place the tomatoes, cut side up, in a small baking dish or pot that will hold them comfortably. I mean, you are going to roast the little devils. We don’t want them being uncomfortable during the process, do we?

Peel the garlic. The fastest way to do this is to cut off the ends of each clove and then put the flat side of the knife on the clove and then just hit it with the heel of your hand. You can do this really hard of you want or if you need to work out any lingering frustrations with anything or any body. Just whack that clove. I bet you feel better already!

But then the clove is sometimes kinda too smashed up. This is fine if you are going to further mince the clove. But we are not mincing today.

Using a lighter hand can achieve the same thing and bruises the garlic a bit but does not smash it in to smithereens. Just place the knife as described above and just push real hard on the knife with the heel of your hand and the clove will crush slightly and you can slide the skin right off. Then you have a whole clove to use for this recipe.

Test: Can you find the clove in the picture below I smashed really hard? Can you find the ones I bruised? You don’t win anything either way. So never mind….

Now scatter the garlic and the thyme over the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil, add salt and pepper.

Bake until the tomatoes are soft but still hold their shape, about 2 hours. Oh my!!!! The aroma in my kitchen and throughout the house was insanely delicious all day long. Who needs to spend big bucks for air fresheners when you cook?

Check the tomatoes a couple of times to make sure the heat of the oven does not use up all of the oil. If it does, add a bit more olive oil.

Remove the pan from the oven and serve.

I like to make a complete meal of this. I serve a tomato with plenty of Italian or French bread to mop up the juices and oil. I  add a slice or two of Swiss cheese, some assorted olives, and a 1 slice of deli ham. Delicious and filling. Some red wine is delicious with this meal if you wish.

I like to scoop a nice piece of the tomato right onto the bread and make an impromptu open-faced tomato sandwich that is just dripping with olive oil and tomato juices. I love it when the oil drips down my chin. I have no manners!

 

Cost

3 medium tomatoes               $3.82

6 cloves garlic                       $0.24

6 sprigs fresh thyme              $0.42

3 tablespoons olive oil            $0.36

Salt and pepper

Total Cost = $4.84
Cost per person as a meal for 3 = $1.61
Cost per person as side dish for 6 = $0.81
Total cost for my dinner as seen in the picture above.

My bread cost me                 $0.40

Slice of ham cost me             $0.72

Olives cost me                      $0.52

Cheese cost me                    $0.44

So the total cost for my complete meal =  $3.69

I had three meals from this one recipe, 2 dinners and 1 breakfast. For the breakfast I just reheated the tomatoes, made some poached eggs and put them on top of the tomatoes.

I spent a grand total of $11.35 and got three meals out of it. So each meal was $3.78 plus the cost of 2 eggs. Not too bad.

Bon Appetit!!!!!

Regarding today’s quote. I wish Mr. Twain had been my teacher when I was in school.

Quote of the Day:    I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.  Mark Twain

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2 comments to Slow-Baked Tomatoes

  • Roberta, your slow baked tomatoes are so much prettier than mine! I slice romas lengthwise into quarters, toss in a bowl with olive oil, pressed fresh garlic, and seasoning. Pour onto lined baking tray & slow bake. Never thought to make them pretty and place a yummy egg on top. Thanks a bunch!

    • Roberta

      I have made them with Roma Tomatoes too. What ever is least expensive. You know how that goes. Yours sound good too. I often add eggs to vegetarian dishes for the protein. Glad you like the idea. 🙂