This recipe is a great way to use up a lot of tomatoes. The tomatoes, when done, are versatile and can be used atop salad, pizza, crostini, steak or as a pasta sauce. Although cooking time is long (3-4 hours), prep time is not, and the dish will fill your kitchen with a nice aroma.
- 3 tablespoons + 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4.5-5 lbs medium-large ripe beefsteak tomatoes (About 12), stemmed but not cored (*can substitute plum tomatoes)
- Kosher salt
- Granulated sugar
- Scant 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3-4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- Heat oven to 350F. Line a 12X17 inch rimmed baking sheet or two 9×12 inched rimmed baking sheets with foil. If you have parchment, put a sheet on top of the foil. Coat the pan or pans with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Cut the tomatoes in half through the equator (not through the stem) (*cut in half through the stem end and seeded for plum tomatoes). Arrange the halves, cut sides up on the baking sheet, turning to coat their bottoms with some of the oil. Sprinkle a pinch each of salt and sugar over each half, and drizzle each with a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Arrange the garlic over the halves and top with a generous sprinkling of thyme. Pour the remaining 1 cup olive oil over and around the tomato halves.
- Roast in the center of the oven until the tomatoes are concentrated, dark reddish brown and collapsed (at least half their original height), about 3 hours for very ripe, fleshy tomatoes, about 4 hours for tomatoes that are less ripe (*2 hours for plum tomatoes). Let cool for at least 10 – 15 minutes and then serve warm or at room temperature.
- Reserve the tomato oil for use on its own or in a vinaigrette.