Slow-roasted tomatoes Slow-roasted tomatoes Israeli Kitchen Photo: Robin Frowley/Shutterstock

Slow-roasted tomatoes

These make a scrumptious addition in pasta and rice dishes and in salads.

  • Yield: 16 tomato halves
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 4 hours

In the open-air market one morning last summer, I felt almost dizzy looking at the abundance of ripe tomatoes. Firm Italian plum tomatoes, squat Romas, cherry tomatoes both red, yellow and green … take your pick. I can never resist really beautiful tomatoes, especially at high summer. So I lugged a few pounds home and made pasta sauce to keep handy. I also oven-dried a bunch of them. But I still had some left over – too many to keep in a warm kitchen before they go bad. So I slow-roasted eight of them.

And now it's winter in Israel, but tomatoes are still in the markets. Not as many varieties, and they're likely hot-house produce, but they're still full of juice and that delicious sweet/acid tomato flavor. It's a good time to roast some, and fill the house with delicious odors of tomatoes and herbs. Imagine homemade pizza topped with them. Although honestly, I like to just top fresh bread with a couple of roasted tomato halves and eat it that way.


  • 8 large tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ground oregano (may use ground za’atar, and/or thyme, and a little pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, to sprinkle generously
  • Pepper to taste


Cut the tomatoes in half. Scoop out their seeds and the gel, leaving a thick shell of flesh.

Season each with plenty of salt, dustings of oregano, za’atar and/or thyme, and a little pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

Put the seasoned tomato halves, cut side up, on a baking pan that’s lined with baking paper.

Set the oven to 250° F (120° C), and slide the tray in. Shut the oven door.

Roast the tomatoes for about 4 hours. They’re done when they’re cooked and limp, starting to get a little leathery at the bottom and at the edges, but still juicy inside.

  • They’re wonderful eaten hot out of the oven and slightly smeared over crackers. That’s how the Little One and I manage to eat most of them.
  • Also excellent on slices of bread toasted and rubbed with a cut clove of garlic.
  • Or chopped up and scattered over pesto-ed pasta.
  • Or with sautéed onions and perhaps some bell pepper in an omelet.
  • Or chopped and mixed into bread or muffin dough.

Keep them in the fridge up to 2 weeks, but if you don’t think you’ll use them all up, freeze extras.

Related Topics: Vegetarian

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