Appetizer Recipes

How to Roast and Preserve Tomatoes

It’s very easy to roast tomatoes, and it gives them a wonderful complexity — they come out of the oven unbelievably aromatic and as flavorful as a long-simmering sauce, full of garlic and herbs and intensely tomato-y.

Once you’ve made them, you’ll be hard-pressed to keep them around, they’re so useful. We love them as an appetizer, like smashed on a crostini with a few crumbs of feta and a little olive oil and salt. They’re also spectacular layered on a veggie sandwich or into an egg bake. And, of course, they give soups, stews, and sauces a nice depth. In fact, we recently used them to make tomato-basil soup.

Our tip: Because they’re so useful, we’d recommend making two or three batches of the tomatoes. They’re awfully pretty in their jars, so you may want to give some to friends and family. They’ll keep in the fridge for 7 days — or the freezer for 4 to 6 months.


2 lb Roma tomatoes
1 head garlic, sliced down the middle
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt, to taste
Fresh black pepper, to taste
Sugar, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 275º, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, and bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Slice a 1-inch X on the bottom of each tomato.
  3. Carefully place the tomatoes in the boiling water until the skin wrinkles and peels back, about 5 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, prepare an ice bath. When the tomatoes are ready, drain them, and put them in ice bath, so that they stop cooking.
  5. Peel the skin off the tomatoes, and cut them in half.
  6. Gently squeeze the tomatoes to remove the excess juice and seeds. Note: Strain and save the juice. It’s great in soup and sauces.
  7. Place tomatoes on the baking sheet, cut side up, and season them with salt, pepper, and sugar.
  8. Sprinkle garlic cloves and thyme sprigs over the tomatoes, and slide them into the oven to bake for 3 hours.
  9. Remove the tomatoes from oven and allow them to cool completely, and then put them in an airtight container.