This post is late. I meant to share this in the Summer when you are overrun with garden Tomatoes. But things have been busy at the homestead, with holidays, school, and job hunting. But I also think this post is quite relevant now. I say this because it is the holiday season. It's time to put huge veggie trays out with ranch dip for parties. I am not sure if you have ever bought the CostCo veggie party tray? I'm always baffled by the amount of some of the veggies, or maybe I am clueless or very Italian. But the number of Cherry Tomatoes in the tray is ridiculous. Who eats that many cherry tomatoes with dip? Italians eat a lot of cherry tomatoes, but smashed on bread with olive oil and seasonings. Not dipped whole in ranch. Maybe I am missing something?
I don't think I am, because, after my parties, I am left with a ton of cherry tomatoes from the veggie tray. In the past, I've dried them or thrown them in a sauce. But here is a handy thing to do with them to use them later in the year! Freeze preserve them!
We do a lot of canning here, but we have also been freezing things too. It's a lot easier. Yes, you are limited to freezer space so you need to pick and choose what to preserve in the freezer. Roasted tomatoes cook down to a cup or two, really, with all their juices, so they don't take up too much space. And you can pull them out to throw in a risotto, pasta, dip or roasted meat. Perfect use of leftover cherry tomatoes from a party tray!
Roasted Herbed Cherry Tomatoes Preserved in the Freezer
3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lb. cherry grape tomatoes, rinsed and sliced in half
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
10 sprigs of thyme
1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 a teaspoon of basil, dried or 1 teaspoon fresh
In a large Pyrex pan, drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil on the bottom. Lay the cherry tomatoes cut side up evenly in the pan. Careful, don't overcrowd them, or else you will steam them versus roasting them. We like using a pan with a lip to contain all the juices from the tomatoes. Preheat oven to 400˚.
Sprinkle all the herbs on top of the cherry tomatoes and then drizzle more olive oil on top, roughly about 2 more tablespoons. Roast the tomatoes for 20 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan once.
Let cool in the pan and then pour into a freezer safe container to cool down before topping the lid with a label.
The tomatoes should keep for six months to a year. They are great to pull out and toss with pastas or risotto's or a meat sauce or roast.