How to Transform Winter Tomatoes

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How to Transform Winter Tomatoes

It may be the dead of winter, but I don’t lose my craving for delicious tomatoes. Unfortunately, we all know what most winter tomatoes taste like. Not much! But there’s a great and easy way to transform out-of-season tomatoes into intense flavor bombs. Roast them.

You can use any kind of tomatoes in this recipe, but plum or Roma work best because they have the fewest seeds. Ourrecipe is very flexible; you can cook the tomatoes for one to two hours, or longer. Roasting at 350° for a short time yields a tasty tomato side dish; roasting them longer yields intensely concentrated tomatoes, like sun-drieds. Just keep an eye on the tomatoes as they cook; if some are getting done faster than others, remove them with a spatula and set aside. The long roasting evaporates the water in the tomatoes, and the heat of the pan causes caramelization, while my Sicilian seasoning flavors the tomatoes with Italian herbs, garlic and a kick of heat from red pepper flakes. What started out as a bland winter tomato ends as an intensely flavored, sweet, herb-scented treat.

Enjoy them with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil, as an ingredient in pasta dishes or on crostini (baguette slices brushed with olive oil and lightly toasted).