Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

This is my answer to what to do with too many cherry tomatoes?


The brightest flavors in the home vegetable garden are often from cherry tomatoes. They are the perfect blend of acid and sweet, a burst of juice and a mouthful of fruit. I eat them like candy and toss them in salads, but at some point during the summer, I can’t keep up, and I am done with them. But I don’t want to waste a one. That’s when I cook them and make Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce.

Very little preparation is required. Wash and remove the stems. If you have a few extra plum tomatoes, quarter them. You can chop and onion, or peel a few cloves of garlic. Or not. Put all onto a baking sheet. This is my favorite heavy pan. It’s dark patina is from years of use with olive oil.

Pour on a glug of good olive oil –  enough to coat the bottom of the pan and make the vegetables glisten. Sprinkle on a teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar. Dust on sea salt – don’t use cheap table salt. The salt flavor matters. Kosher salt will do. I have Sicilian Sea Salt that I brought back from Rome that I used for this. Delicious. My stash is almost gone. You can buy good salt at many markets and gourmet grocers. I’d like to go back to Rome, though to get mine!

Shake the pan so that the vegetables are evenly coated with the oil, vinegar and salt. Put it into a 300 degree F. oven. Bake for an hour, or longer. The tomatoes will burst and shrink and their flavors will concentrate.

You could put it through a food mill to get rid of the seeds and skins and have a concentrated tomato sauce. Or, use as is. Toss with cheese tortellini. I used it to top grilled swordfish steaks. Easy. Pure summer.