Though there are at least six or seven more weeks of truly hot weather* left in this season, I can already feel Fall starting to make inroads. Mornings have been cooler (though we are expecting another wave of heat starting tomorrow) and the air smells slightly of crunchy leaves and transitions when I leave work. Summer is waning and it’s high time that I think beyond my beloved jams and frivolous pickles and start stashing away staples.
The tomatoes you see above are part of my winter security blanket. They started life as two pints of grape tomatoes. Cut in half, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, they roasted at 300 degrees F for 2 hours (note: your time may vary depending on how how your oven runs, how tightly you pack your tomatoes onto the baking tray, much moisture the tomatoes contain. Start checking at 30 minutes and check every 15 minutes or so thereafter to prevent burning). Packed into 1-cup portions and frozen, these will become key players in pasta sauces, soups and braises on those cold, short days.
These are similar to the long roasted romas that I wrote about last summer. The nice thing about grape tomatoes is that their smaller size means they cook up more quickly. You can pick up a couple extra pints on a Saturday and have them halved and roasting before you get the rest of the groceries put away. A load of laundry later and they’re done.
They go down easy (particular if you have some crusty bread around), so do your best to save a few for the freezer (yes, the freezer. They can’t be canned). Oh, and if you just want to cook up a few to eat with dinner, I recommend trying them over turkey burgers in place of ketchup. It’s really good.
While you wait for your tomatoes to roast, make sure to click over to the Eat Boutique Summer Picnics Gift Box giveaway. If you like what you see and want to buy one for a friend, the nice Eat Boutiques folks are offering a free shipping code to all Food in Jars readers. Just enter “FIJ” at check-out.
*This is at least the case for the mid-Atlantic region in which I live. Pacific Northwesterners, I can’t even predict what your weather is going to be like.