Last of the summer tomatoes

Work has been incredibly busy this past week which has left me little time to cook. My fridge is bursting with peppers of all kinds (sweet, hot, bell), greens, and squashes. But on my countertop, because I never keep them in the fridge, is the last of the summer tomatoes. And although they are better when kept out, you can't let them sit indefinitely. Unfortunately I wasn't ever home to eat them. With each passing day they looked a little sadder.

So tonight, finally home and able to do something, I decided to roast them. Except for one that I could temporarily rescue and put into a caprese salad for dinner, most of these were too far gone to be enjoyable on their own. Roasting seemed a perfect idea for less-than-perfect tomatoes.

For my random collection of heirlooms and slicers, I turned to David Lebovitz and his very simple recipe for Oven-Roasted Tomatoes. I prepped the tomatoes by washing them, cutting off the bad bits, and arranging them on a foil-lined baking tray. I added slices of garlic, sprigs of fresh thyme, a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and tossed everything together.

I put the roasting pan into a 325ºF oven for about 1.5 hours before checking them.

They were close but not quite there so I turned off the oven, popped the pan back in and let it sit in the oven for another 30 minutes.

The results were soft roasted tomatoes with some caramelized bits and meltingly soft slices of garlic. I discarded the thyme sprigs but kept the tomatoes, garlic, and the juices from the bottom of the pan.

I let them cool before putting them into the fridge.

Inspired by David Lebovitz, I plan to make some bruschetta by toasting rustic bread and rubbing the bread with some fresh garlic. Maybe I'll warm the tomatoes. Warm or cold I'll top off the bruschetta with a little crumbled feta cheese and maybe another drizzle of olive oil. They won't last more than a couple of days but it'll be a delicious way to celebrate the last of the summer tomatoes.