Tomatoes are a fruit, bet you thought they were vegetables. It is a common misconception. Botanically wise they are a fruit but for culinary purposes are considered a vegetable.Tomatoes originated in South American then were spread around the world after the colonization of the Americas by the Spanish. Kind of weird to think there was a time when Italians didn’t have tomatoes for pasta sauce, isn’t it? ” In certain areas of Italy, such as Florence, however, the fruit was used solely as a tabletop decoration before it was incorporated into the local cuisine in the late 17th or early 18th century.” Apparently this fruit was once considered deadly and poisonous, another hard to believe fact. So to the first guy who ate this delicious fruit and didn’t die I say thank you for being the Guinea pig.
Another really cool fact I learned about tomatoes was the origin of the word. “The Aztecs called the fruit xitomatl (pronounced [ʃiːˈtomatɬ]), meaning plump thing with a navel. Other Mesoamerican peoples, including the Nahuas, took the name as tomatl, from which some European languages derived the name “tomato”. ” The English word was obviously derived from those native pronunciations. Pretty cool no? Actually if you have a few minutes to spare I highly suggest reading about tomatoes and their history it is quite interesting.
Over time the variations of tomatoes have grown extensively from their early small yellow ancestors. Nowadays the ways tomatoes are consumed are probably as varied as the species available. I don’t know about you but I just love tomatoes. Raw, on salads, as a sauce or salsa, cooked, roasted, sun dried, as a topping or as a snack, I just love them. Today I want to show you one of my favorite ways of eating tomatoes, roasted.
Honestly I can’t even remember why I started to roast tomatoes or how I got the idea to do so. I’m just glad it happened. The best times of the year to eat and get good quality tomatoes are in the spring and summer,(of course they are available year round), and this is when I eat the most amount of tomatoes. Roasted tomatoes are great to snack on by themselves or on top of a good bread or cracker. Well, really they are so versatile that you can really eat them as you crave. Over the next couple of posts I’m going to show you a couple of my favorite recipes using roasted tomatoes so make sure you come back for that.
Okay enough babbling here is the super easy recipe for my roasted tomatoes. Enjoy!, I know you will.
- raw tomatoes, halved and seeded*
- olive oil
- Preheat 200c or 392f
- Slice tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. This can be done by ether scooping the seeds out with a spoon or gently squeeze between thumb and index finger, and the juice and seeds will flow out. *If using small cherry tomatoes the seeds can be left inside. Mix all of the spices with the olive oil in a large bowl. Toss the tomatoes to coat them well with the spice oil mixture. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, making sure the tomatoes are hollow side up.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 25-45 minutes depending on size of tomatoes. They should be slightly browned and shriveled but not burnt. Allow to cool completely before using. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
You will noticed that I neither specified how many or what variety of tomatoes to use in the recipe. This is because you can roast any type and as many tomatoes as you like or need. I us my recipe for large round tomatoes to Roma type and/or small cherry tomatoes. They all turn out delicious so really whatever you have on hand will do.Also the spices I never measure, it’s whatever fresh or dried for herbs I have on hand. The point is to experiment and adjust to your tastes. As for the olive oil, you want just enough to coat the tomatoes not swimming in olive olive.
The tomatoes will keep fresh in your refrigerator for a week or possibly more. Honestly they never last more than one week in my refrigerator because I just can’t get enough of them. I think they would also taste delicious stored in olive oil, but again I eat mine too fast to try that storage method.
Some yummy roasted tomato recipes coming up next!