Roasted tomatoes

The best way to preserve a glut of tomatoes or prepare summer crops to use later. Thank you Nigel Slater. This is my method evolved after experimenting with different types of tomatoes and cooking times.

Different types of tomatoes result in different flavours and shorter cooking times at higher temperatures give slightly different results to long slower cooking, all delicious, so they can be cooked or at least started when cooking something else in the oven.


Olive oil

Large-ish ripe tomatoes, round or Roma type


Dried thyme, salt, pepper and sugar

Use a good glug of cooking olive oil to cover the base of a large roasting pan. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them skin side down in the roasting tin. Peel garlic clove(s) and slice into little spears to push into tomato flesh, without piercing skin. Use one or more “spears” per half tomato according to personal preference and strength of garlic.

Sprinkle them with a little dried thyme, salt, freshly ground black pepper and a little sugar to taste.

Cook in oven for about half an hour at 325°F, a bit longer if lower temperature, remove from oven and carefully turn each half tomato onto its cut face. Continue cooking for about an hour, depending on temperature and how much juice is released by tomatoes. The aim is to reduce the juice somewhat but not entirely and shrivel the skins so they can be easily removed – they generally puff up and can simply be lifted off.

The tomatoes can be used with pasta, in stews and sauces etc like tinned ones (only with vastly better flavour) and frozen in bags or plastic tubs to remind us of summer during the winter.

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