I admit to not having a green thumb. When I moved into my first apartment back in 1979, while attending U.C. Berkeley, I killed ALL of my plants. Although I have been somewhat successful with growing herbs and greens, veggies have not become my garden’s friend. However, my girlfriend, on the other hand, has had enormous success and I receive all of the benefits.

With summer officially in full bloom, ripe tomatoes grace her yard. With bushels of plum, ripe tomatoes left at my doorstep it is my job to figure out how to use them before they become not so desirable.

I love slow roasted tomatoes. On those rare days when I am spending the day at home (always, one of my favorite days of the week), putting a tray of tomatoes, at a low temperature, in the oven for 5-6 hours is a day well spent.

Roasted tomatoes are great on my daily sandwich, the kids love them as a topping on their pizza, and I personally like using them to assemble a light and flaky tart. Always a wonderful beginning to a summer time meal eaten al fresco.

With the leftovers, I whipped up a batch of my roasted tomato salsa. Followed my directions by roasting the onions, garlic, and chili’s in a cast iron skillet. When it was time to chop and puree, I used the last of my slow roasted tomatoes creating an earthy and rich dip that even my 6 year old devoured.

Summertime is tomato-time. When fruits and vegetables are at their peek, they are in abundance and affordable. That is the exact time that one should stock up on locally grown produce. If I had to buy these tomatoes at the local farmers market, they would have cost me pennies. And look how far nearly 2 dozen tomatoes went!

Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Slow roasted tomatoes are so versatile. Use them in salads, on sandwiches, frittatas, and tarts. Tomatoes, when in season, is a wonderful way to preserve the essence of summer.
yield: 40 pieces

1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
20 medium roma tomatoes, cut in half, lengthwise

• preheat oven to 200*
• brush a rimmed baking sheet (11 1/2 x 17″) with olive oil.
• in a large, glass bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the tomatoes.
• wash, pat dry and cut the tomatoes in half. toss tomatoes with the seasoning mixture.
• place tomatoes, cut side up on your prepared baking sheet.
• roast for 5-6 hours, checking occasionally.
• let cool before eating