I woke up this morning in our recently purchased home and decided to stop making excuses as to why I’m too busy to sit down and blog–because truth be told, I’m not. Though I do feel overwhelmed at times and all I want to do once I arrive home from work is wander aimlessly in my boxer shorts, turn the A/C down to some unbearable icy temperature and watch Netflix, it doesn’t make for the most efficient use of my time, but it’s what often happens.
Time is a precious thing and to squander it on frivolous things often convicts this ol’ heart. Not to mention, home-ownership requires more discipline than I ever thought I’d need to exhibit since being forced to stay in my seat during elementary arithmetic. I actually have to live with greater intent to accomplish tasks by specific times, times I didn’t have to allot for with apartment living. The summer has been good to us. We found our new home after a long and tedious search. I can’t tell you the number of times my wife didn’t even get out of the car upon arrival to some potential residence, quite comical. But many disputes over more land, less land, more kitchen, less dining room have led us to our new home and we are elated. It’s not quite photo-shoot ready but I’ll slip you a few shots of our sacred space in the near future.
I’m rather in love with the natural lighting in my kitchen and if the truth be told–my whole kitchen would be made of windows if I could have my. My cooking space has quadrupled from that of our apartment where the kitchen was an afterthought but the dining and living room conquered all. Any-who, we feel blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude for what we believe was a gift from God after months of searching and losing homes to higher bids and ridiculous inspections.
I love the summer time. I love the warm weather, seeing people riding their bikes, families spending time together in backyards, and the smell of smoky meat funneling through your window. It evokes the free-spirit in all of us and we’re off to the lake on the weekend, mini road-trips pursue and we’re tending to our gardens on the patio. Just about every Summer I’m left feeling convicted that I didn’t quite enjoy it enough. I didn’t eat enough tomatoes, there’s not enough squash in my freezer and I didn’t can anything. I’m still dealing with that aching feeling this year but trying not to let it ruin taking advantage of Autumn’s produce, I do love some root vegetables, figs, apples, winter squash and greens.
This recipe for oven-rooasted tomatoes is as simple as it gets and there is still time for some of you to gather from the summer’s harvest to make these. And if not, the recipe works just as well with slightly out of season tomatoes from your local grocer. The roasting process helps to concentrate the sugar so that tomato-y flavor is amplified and leaves you with this sweet, chewy little piece of ‘summer candy’ you won’t regret making.
I’m simply going to walk you through this recipe because it is so simple that it hurts. First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. I had two pints of grape tomatoes, Sungolds and heirloom Cherokee purples I got from the Franklin Farmer’s Market and some from Maxwell’s Produce on Nolensville Pike. I rinsed them off under cold water and patted them dry with a kitchen towel but paper towels will work just fine. Then, cut the larger ones in half and leave the smaller ones whole. I like the contrast of some juicy and some dryer. I generously coated them with about a quarter of a cup of evoo, two-teaspoons of kosher salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Place the tomatoes on an ungreased sheet pan and cook for three and a half hours or until the desired shriveled-ness is reached, you be the judge. Once tomatoes are done, allow them to cool and I stored them in my Weck Jars because I’m pretty much addicted to the aesthetic of their containers. This recipe also works fantastic with grapes and figs, though cooking times can be scaled back to about one hour and a half to two hours. And I want to hear how you used to tomatoes this Summer, so prey-tell?
What to do with them?
I’m guilty of eating a quarter of the tray once they came out of the oven. Some of the ones around the edge of the pan get really dry and crunchy and they have little bits of clumped pepper and salt. Those drive me crazy because their so good and barely make it into another recipe. But I have been using them in pastas which you will see if you follow on Instagram, as well as salads or just as a snack on bread and butter. I’m sure you’ll find your own creative use but I hope this helps! Bon Apetit!