Growing up, we ate tomatoes straight from the garden with dinner just about every summer night. Each meaty slice was individually salted and peppered on both sides (a crucial step that cannot be skipped), and then promptly devoured.
And to this day, my favorite sandwich is still a Tomato Sandwich: smooshy white bread piled high with thick tomato slices, a dab of Miracle Whip, salt, and fresh ground black pepper. That’s it. There’s no need to screw it up with meat. Or cheese. Or real mayo.
Going back to supermarket tomatoes after our summer bounty was exhausted was always disappointing – never were our home-grown tomatoes so… hard. And not red. It’s easy to get spoiled, I guess.
I had high hopes: a week of tomato sandwiches for lunch, maybe a greek or caprese salad with dinner… What we ended up with: a bowl full of wrinkly tomatoes and dinner out every. single. night.
10 days is a lot to ask from a tomato. 10 tomatoes. And then life interrupted all plans. Once I realized that my purchase was probably in vain, I really didn’t expect them to last long enough for me to have a few free minutes to actually try to save them.
Luckily, going-downhill-fast tomatoes are fairly easy – and very tasty – to rescue and anyone can do it. Anyone with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a working oven. Juicy, lightly caramelized wedges with a nice, bright concentrated flavor – has five minutes of work ever been so rewarding? Throw them in pasta, salads, or take the no-fuss approach: eat them straight from the baking pan the second they’re cool enough to touch. No utensils required.
Oven Almost-Dried Tomatoes
10 wrinkly, 10-days old roma tomatoes, halved or quartered
Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 200.
Toss the tomatoes, a liberal pinch of sea salt, and several grinds of black pepper with enough olive oil to coat the tomatoes. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and pop into the oven. Set the timer and walk away.
Bake for 2.5-3 hours and let cool. If you actually have any left, store them in a tightly-covered bowl in the fridge for a few days.
I hate when I buy tomatoes (or any other fresh produce) and life gets in the way of me using them as I intended. What a great way to still enjoy them, even after they are a bit past their prime.
Did you read Harriet the Spy? I’ll never forget how she ate tomato sandwiches for lunch every day.
Nothing tastes of summer as much as a fresh tomato sandwich, I sometimes like to add a little finely chopped red onion to mine and sometimes skip the mayo.
Ooh, what a great idea! Tomatoes are so versatile and this is a great way to prepare them!
Um Um Um!
Mmmmm… I love love love love tomatoes!! I’ll have to try these.
Nothing beats a tomato fresh from the garden! These look like they might come close, though. Yumm!
I won’t even buy tomatoes at the store anymore-even during in-season times. Feast or famine, right? I have a surplus of tomatoes this month and some of them are going to spend a little time cooking in my oven. Thanks for passing along this great idea!