Why It Works
- Oven-roasting the tomatoes enhances their flavor and texture.
One of the best ways to transform out-of-season fresh and canned tomatoes into something great is to slow-roast them in a low oven until their excess water has evaporated and their flavor is intense and concentrated. Use them diced or whole in pan sauces, vinaigrettes, sandwiches, quick pastas, bean or grain salads, and more.
- 2 (28-ounce; 794g) cans peeled whole tomatoes, drained, halved, and seeded, or about 15 whole fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, halved, and seeded (see note)
- Kosher salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- A few sprigs of fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme (optional)
Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange tomatoes on prepared baking sheet in one layer, season with salt, and drizzle all over with olive oil. Scatter herbs on top, if using. Transfer to oven and cook until excess juices have evaporated and tomatoes look slightly dry on the exterior but still moist within, 1 to 2 hours. Discard herbs, if necessary.
Rimmed baking sheet
Canned tomatoes will be more intensely flavored after oven-roasting because they tend to be picked riper than out-of-season fresh tomatoes, but they'll also come out softer because the canning process precooks them. Oven-roasted fresh tomatoes hold their shape better, making them especially good if you want to keep them in larger pieces; you can choose to keep the skins and seeds intact in the fresh ones to produce a juicier roasted result, which is useful if you're leaving them whole.