{Baking/Preserving} SLOW ROASTED TOMATOES … Preserve the Bounty Week # 2

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”
Lewis Grizzard
Tomatoes form an integral part of our everyday food, often like the butter on our daily bread. Whether it’s a simple tossed salad, soup, salsa, juice, pizza sauce, chicken curry or  ketchup … it seems to rule the palate. Think tomatoes, think typically red edible juicy fruit {has seeds, is technically fruit}, one that originated in South America, but can be found in every little corner of the world. This heat loving crop is in season in India the whole year round, but not so in many other places, where it is a ‘seasonal vegetable‘, thus the need to preserve it when the season is at it’s peak.

Preserve the Bounty: August 2010

A little bit about the Preserve the Bounty Challenge hosted at Nourished Kitchen. In the month of August we’re setting aside our pressure canners and we’ll be preserving the bounty of the summer season naturally while optimizing the nutrition of the foods we put up for winter.  Over the course of 5 weeks we’ll cover sun-drying, oil curing, freezing, fermentation and salt-curing – traditional techniques that optimize nutrition and don’t heat up the kitchen like canning.

Week # 1 was Fermentation where I posted Ottolenghi’s Preserved Limes. Further inspired, I decided to pickle some local peppers and made a jar of Pickled Jalapeños.
Week #2: Oil & Fat

Preservation by oil and fat is a traditional technique that has been practiced for a very, very long time. It’s an ancient technique, really and it’s most prevalent in the Mediterranean where olive oil is plentiful. Oils and fats are remarkable preservatives and can keep fresh foods and herbs in good condition for several months or even years, provided proper conditions are met for optimal storage. Certain foods are better suited to certain preservation methods than others. Among the foods most well suited to preservation by oil or fat including mushrooms, garlic, herbs, tomatoes (fresh and dried) and eggplant.  Nourished Kitchen

It’s important to note that, while quite rare, botulism spores can contaminate low-acid foods (like garlic) that are preserved in oil or fat when it is kept at room temperature. For this reason, it’s critical that you either keep your oil-preserved food in the refrigerator or freezer (unappealing, I know) or that you add a bit of acid to the oil which should keep the toxin at bay … Nourished Kitchen
To Preserve in Oil {Preferably Olive Oil} – Recipe from Nourished Kitchen

Clean your vegetables and pack them in a quart-sized mason jar.
Add spices and herbs that suit you.
Add about 1/4 cup cider or wine vinegar, preferably raw.
Cover with oil.
Allow to marinate at room temperature for at least a month, shaking periodically to distribute the the vinegar.
After a month, you can open the jar, scoop out what you need, place the lid back on the jar and continue storing in a cool, dark place.

I made just a small batch of preserved tomatoes since I have a tiny little oven. If you wish to do a larger batch it is worthwhile reading this post by Chez PaniseTomato Confit: oven-dried tomato in olive oil. Parboiling the oven dried tomatoes before canning them seems a more sure shot way, but for now I am content with doing small batches that I can use up sooner.
There are over 7000 listed varieties of tomatoes worldwide, and one of the most fascinating ones are heirloom tomatoes {which we don’t get to see in India}. Though it is botanically a berry, a subset of fruit, the tomato is a vegetable for culinary purposes, because of its savory flavor. Tomatoes are acidic, making them especially easy to preserve in home canning whole, in pieces, as tomato sauce or paste. The fruit is also preserved by drying, often in the sun, and sold either in bags or in jars with oil.
This recipe at Cook Sister posted by the wonderful & hilarious Jeanne has been in my bookmarked folder forever! Small wonder that I reached there pronto when I read this weeks challenge. Oooh delicious, tangy, dried tomato bits, some which fell into my greedy little mouth. For that Jeanne is to blame. She should have never mentioned the odd nibble!! I loved the vibrant end result – a heady mix of garlic, oregano and tangy tomato in a wonderful olive oil. Try the recipe, and you will know!!

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Adapted from Jeanne’s recipe @ Cook Sister
About a dozen large, ripe tomatoes
2 Tbsp good olive oil
2 Tbsp dried oregano
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp sea salt
Enough good quality extra virgin olive oil to cover cooked tomatoes when placed in a jar {I used Borges from here}


Wash the tomatoes and cut into halves or into quarters, and remove and discard seeds. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and leave cut side down for about an hour for extra water to drain.
Mix the oil, garlic and spices together in a large bowl and toss the tomatoes in the mixture until well coated.
Line a sheet with parchment paper and arrange the tomatoes on it, cut side down.
Place the baking sheet in an oven that has been preheated to 100C. Sit back, relax and wait for the house to start smelling glorious.
You will begin to see a difference after 2-3 hours – a little shriveling. Check them after about 4-6 hours depending the size and quality of tomatoes, and on the temperature of your oven, they should be ready. The tomatoes should have shrunk to about half to a third of their original size, the skin should be puckered and should be able to be pinched off with relative ease.
Remove from the oven when done. Remove the skins while they are still warm if you like, but, like Jeanne, I like leaving the skin on. You can either use them immediately, freeze them in batches to use throughout winter, or put them in a glass jar, cover with olive oil and store them in the fridge and use within a week.

Note: I don’t recommend storing them for longer in view of botulism fears in the long run.

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. Best Hamburger Recipe says:

    wow! it was really delicious recipe! thanx 4 sharing!

  2. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Those must be very flavorful! A great way of getting a little sunshine during the wintertime….

    Awesome pics!



  3. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Informative and very helpful post deeba! Have a bounty of these red beauties in my house. Shall try to preserve your way. Take care.

  4. Neetz says:

    wow!! its so colorful and soo drooling pic too :)… once i get an oven i m sure gonna try this :)

  5. Jessica @ How Sweet says:

    Beautiful! I love roasted tomatoes.

  6. Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) says:

    Far out, they look amazingly delicious! I can imagine smacking my lips over these and a cracker platter

  7. Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] says:

    Great job, D! I love roasted tomatoes :)

  8. Asha @ FSK says:

    Ah! What a coincidence.. I have a small bounty of tomatoes too and was thinking of canning them :) love the photos as usual

  9. bellini valli says:

    It has to be done Deeba:D

  10. Chocolate Freckles says:

    Great recipe I want to make these!

  11. Smink says:

    Amazing colors and looks delicious.Otherwise very good pictures.

  12. Cristina says:

    What nice treats to look forward to using later. Love your photography and thank you for the inspiration! 😉

  13. Barbara Bakes says:

    I want to run out to the farmers market, snatch up some gorgeous tomatoes and try this version! Love your beautiful jar.

  14. fortheloveofyum says:

    Thanks so much for your kind words on my blog, Deeba!

    I am so glad you found me because I have found your treasure of a blog! Stunning! I can't wait to read your archives.

    I love this post on preserves, so vibrant! Everything looks amazing. Take care :)

  15. What a wonderful way to perserve. I have been meaning to try this but I haven't had a chance yet.


    What an amazing recipe and photos! Great idea!

  17. Gorgeous Post!!! I am going to try your recipe for preserving summer's bounty! My dad has a bountiful garden full of different variety of tomatoes. I am definitely going to try your recipe! :)


  18. Marcellina says:

    Oh, so beautiful! I will bookmark this for when my tomatoes ripen. Won't be long now. We grow our best tomatoes in winter!

  19. Anna Johnston says:

    I'm so enjoying your blogs on preserving. Using the oil techniques are great. Love this recipe as well.
    Cheers Anna

  20. Stela James says:

    Thanks for such a nice share.

    home business

  21. Chetana Suvarna Ganatra says:

    Such a coincidence…dis weekend I wud be going to a country side farmers market n m sure to find red juicy tomatoes. N hw good it wud be to preserve em ur way…luv de article n ur pics like always.

  22. pigpigscorner says:

    wow 6 hrs?! I shall put this in my winter to-cook list =)

  23. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    I'm so looking forward to Summer and being able to do things like this! 😀

  24. Ninette says:

    How lovely and flavorful!

  25. shayma says:

    beautiful red jewels. would love to throw a few into a bowl of pasta. gorgeous photos, too, Deebz. x shayma

  26. Jeanne @ CookSister! says:

    Oh Deeba – gorgeous as always!! I'm SO glad you enjoyed the recipe I posted – it really is a winner. That reminds me – I haven't preserved any tomatoes yet this season… Like you, many of them go straight from the oven to my mouth, so preserving large batches is not really an issue 😉 They are DIVINE on pasta with roasted eggplant and some mashed anchovy…

  27. I love this idea. Thanks for addressing the health issue too. I never know how long to keep things like this!

  28. rchsldn says:

    Thank you for the great recipe. I hope mine taste as delicious as yours! Where do I get jars like that so mine look just as beautiful too?

  29. lisaiscooking says:

    I can think of about a million ways to use these beauties! They look lovely in the jar and sitting next to the pickled jalapenos too.

  30. RamblingTart says:

    Those look absolutely amazing, Deeba!!! Wow! I love the rich colors and can almost taste the marvelously intense flavors. :-)

  31. Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen says:

    These look amazing Deeba! I love your gorgeous pictures!

  32. Fresh Local and Best says:

    This is such an impressively comprehensive and informative post. I've been oven drying tomatoes over the last few months and it never occurred to me to worry about botulism – but I should! Thanks again, I'll feel much better about making larger batches for this preserving method.

  33. Magic of Spice says:

    Fantastic post…perfect to savor summer freshness. And a so very beautiful way too :)

  34. Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog says:

    Tomatoes and olive oil is a staple here and preserve them is to save the soul and flavor for long time :)

    So wonderful captures…you're a master in photography!

    All the best,


  35. Shanthi says:

    Its great. Sure it would have smelt royale

  36. Hanaâ says:

    Yum. I did the same thing with my tomatoes 2 years ago. Seeing your beautiful pictures makes me want to do it again with this year's crop from our garden :o)

  37. The Urban Baker says:

    I love making slow roasted tomatoes. They are soooo soooo good! However, when they come out of the oven, after 7 hours, a few of them rarely make it to the table ( as my son and I are eating them off the sheet pan).

  38. Pretty. Good. Food. says:

    Oh man this looks delicious! And your photographs are beautiful! Everything here looks great!
    I recently launched my own blog, I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! :) Thanks!

  39. Chiot's Run says:

    I make tons of these each summer and usually I freeze them so I don't have to worry about any spoilage. They're sooooo goood topping toast and eggs.

    I've also been reading about alternative preservation methods and foods that I can grow that don't require any canning/freezing. I'm growing tons of potatoes, squash & sweet potatoes this year for that reason.

  40. great post thanks

  41. Heather says:

    Great recipe! I know what I will be doing this summer with the tomatoes that are in season. These will make great gifts, too.

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