Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Slow roasted tomatoes with thyme 1 | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

When you ask people why they don’t cook more, one of the most common responses is, “I just don’t have the time.” Even though I agree that everyone is busy, I also think that sometimes we’re looking for the wrong kind of time to cook. It’s not necessary to devote hours solely to your kitchen to produce delicious meals. Passive cooking can be done in many ways and is one of the best ways to be more productive and multi-task your time. Here are a few suggestions of how we can be cooking when we’re actually doing something else:

  • The next time you’re settling into your Netflix queue, ask yourself, can I throw something in the oven? The length of a TV show is the perfect time for roasting some vegetables. Movies are more suitable for braising meats or slow-roasting (like the tomatoes above)
  • While rejuvenating your body, mind, and soul during REM cycles, your slow cooker can prepare something to rejuvenate a growling stomach. Steel cut oatmeal, dried beans, braises, soups, and stews can all be cooking away on low for 6 to 10 hours overnight and ready for you to eat or Tupperware for lunch in the morning
  • I like to catch up on my magazine reading standing next to my stove. I fill a large pot with water, read an article while waiting for it to boil, place some vegetables (like broccoli) to blanch in the water, set a timer, continue reading, take those vegetables out, put a different set (like mushrooms) into the same water, set another timer, continue reading, and, well, you get the idea. In an hour, I’ll have enjoyed catching up on pop culture, cooked a lot of vegetables for the week, and made a broth (yes, that is how water becomes broth – magic, eh?)
  • People forget that the microwave can be used for more than making popcorn and heating frozen pizza. This isn’t a joke; you can actually cook non-packaged food in your microwave. When I was part of the commuting workforce, I’d put something in there to microwave as I was heading out the door, and it’d be ready to go when I came home. Some great candidates for microwaving are corn (see Ken’s trick), root vegetables, and winter squashes. 6 to 8 minutes in the microwave softens the tough exterior of a butternut squash, which makes it much easier to peel when you come home. The extra time gives all of these vegetables plenty of time to cool so you can actually easily work with it when you return home. Even though I don’t commute anymore, I still run errands, which is perfect for popping something (other than popcorn) in the microwave
Tell us your multi-tasking tricks, so we can all find more time to cook. Below, we offer one of our favorites: 2 hours = the perfect time to make slow roasted tomatoes + watch a movie.

Slow roasted tomatoes with thyme 2 | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Vegetable Side Dish
Serves: 4
  • Cherry / grape tomatoes – 2 pints
  • Olive oil – 3 tbs.
  • Herbs such as rosemary or thyme (optional) – 4 to 6 sprigs
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees
  2. Slice tomatoes in half
  3. Place tomatoes onto baking sheet and toss with olive oil
  4. Distribute tomatoes across baking sheet (you may need more than one) with herbs. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper
  5. Roast for 2 to 3 hours . . . really, however long that movie you’re watching is. You want them to be dried out but still have just a little bit of juice in them
  1. Clearly these are better during tomato season, which I realize has passed us. Still, they can be made outside of tomato season, since slow-roasting them intensifies the flavor
  2. An evening of wine and cheese? Set out your slow-roasted tomatoes to be eaten with cheese and bread. It’ll be sure to impress your guests. They’ll all wonder, how does he / she find 2 to 3 hours to slow-roast tomatoes? He / she must be like Superman / woman!
  3. We’ll be showing you two of our favorite uses soon – tossing them with pasta and as an accompaniment for fish en papillote


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