The hardest thing about gardening, after the heart break of failed plants, is dealing with an abundance of fruit all at the same time. Yes, I could just give it away. In the case of my tomatoes, which gave one fruiting and the plants died, I want to keep them all since I didn’t get many. Ideally we would eat them just after they had ripened, but that never happens. So I have to process what we can’t eat before it goes bad.

Today I am oven slow roasting a pan full of red and yellow tomatoes. This way I can keep them in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or even freeze them. I would never put a fresh tomato in the refrigerator as it zaps all the taste out of them, but once roasted the flavor is sealed in, in a concentrated way.

I also cook some zucchini and eggplant on the grill pan and together with the tomatoes they make a beautiful antipasto like you see on a table in a good restaurant in Italy. I would be happy just having that and skip the pasta. If I add a ball of buratta to the roast veggies I have my favorite summer meal.

Slow roasting tomatoes takes a long time. How long depends on the size of the tomatoes and their water content. I put the pan of tomatoes, sprinkled with olive oil and salt and pepper in a 250° oven.

At hour three they still looked like they needed another couple of hours. The temperature is so low you can be off by an hour and it won’t make much difference. You need to make sure to drain any oil left in the pan into the container with the tomatoes. It helps preserve them and the oil tastes great later.

I’m tired of making pickles with my cucumbers so I’ll make some more cold cucumber soup with yoghurt and dill tomorrow. It doesn’t keep like the roasted tomatoes, but I can give some of that away.

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