Monday, October 26, 2009

Recycle Your Food: Roasted Tomatoes & What to Do with Them

I've been wanting to do this for a while--share some of the ways I use up food that might otherwise get tossed out into the compost or trash. I love the notion of recycling your food, that you can suddenly create something not just merely edible, but something delicious with over-ripe fruits, a glut of end-of-season-not-quite-ripe tomatoes, the heels and left over bits of breads, and old chicken bones. So, I bring you installment number 1 in Recycle Your Food: What to do with all those less than ideal tomatoes you might have sitting around ripening on your window sills.

The answer is simple and a snap to prepare--make some oven-roasted tomatoes. What I love about this technique is that the tomatoes are SO lovely tasting this way--even those less than ideal tomatoes that did not ripen on the vine or those lackluster mid-winter grocery-store tomatoes. You can also include tomatoes just slightly past their prime, gone a bit wrinkly and a little mushy, if you must. And what I love about this technique even more than how lovely tasting they are is the fact that with little fuss you can prepare loads of tomatoes in this way, and simply package them up and freeze them for later enjoyment. I mean with winter setting in, I so dig hoarding food likeI am a squirrel. There is comfort in knowing you have 8 bags of roasted tomatoes in your freezer. Or maybe that's just me.
Anyway, here is the recipe for oven-roasting your own batch of tomatoes:

And then, if you want something to actually make with those lovely little roasted tomatoes--well, this is one of my favorites--a pasta made with roasted tomatoes, feta and pesto. It is so much flavor in your mouth make sure you have some nice red wine to offset it with. Really. I'm serious. It would be a shame not to.
And here are the recipes for the pasta, as well as for the pesto you will need to make the pasta dish:
Happy food recyling and roasted tomato hoarding.


S. Chaffee said...

I am so in love with this idea! I just printed off the first recipe. I have to ask if you know of any other delicious ways to prepare something with the roasted tomatoes? My oldest is allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts so the delicious sounding last two recipes won't work for my family :(

Holly said...

Glodibug--what I love about these tomatoes is that you can use them anywhere you would use sun-dried tomatoes or regular old tomatoes. Their taste is more intense than a regular tomato so you need less in a sauce when make something with them than you would ifyou were making a pasta with a chopped tomato sauce. So, they work on pizzas, they are delicious on burgers and many types of sandwiches (especially ones made with fresh mozzarella), and they are good in soups--Ina Garten has a good one that uses them found here:
Hope that helps.

Holly said...

Oh--I meant to add that with the pasta recipe I have there--you could omit the pesto and pine nuts and feta and make it with just some chopped fresh basil, and saute some minced garlic in with the tomatoes when you prepare them--serve parmesan on the side. Here is a recipe for a sauce made wiht the tomatoes--


Do you find you are as successful using the frozen/thawed tomatoes? Or even frozen/thawed pesto too? I have been using them, thawed, for bruschetta and greek pasta salad with peppers, feta and a simple vinagrette. Always looking for ways to use up my huge stash of roasted tomatoes.

Holly said...

Yes-using them from the freezer works just fine--they are a little less chewy than straight from the oven, but the flavor is still wonderful and when you are cooking them into something--like the pasta dish--the texture change is hardly noticeable.

Anonymous said...

this all sounds so delicious and definitely gives me an incentive to grow some tomatoes asap!

crafterhours said...

Oh how I love them.