When I’m choosing a side dish to serve with dinner, it seems I usually turn to something green like a salad, or steamed broccoli, or roasted asparagus. But it’s a shame I don’t often think of the other things that could fill that role, like round red fruit, for instance. These Italian Roasted Tomatoes turn out to be the ideal side dish to any meal – bright red tomatoes paired with savory garlic, onion, and Italian seasoning that are slow-roasted until their flavor has deepened and concentrated into something amazing. They take some time in the oven, but they’re easy enough to throw together and are so utterly delicious that they’ll be at the top of your list of side dish options after the very first bite.
So how do you go from a fresh juicy tomato to one that’s even more sweet and flavorful and caramelized? It’s easy. You just start by slicing a bunch of Roma tomatoes in half… (And use Romas or another paste tomato; you don’t want anything TOO juicy. This isn’t the place for an heirloom slicer.)
You toss them with garlic, onions, olive oil, and Italian seasoning before spreading them out on a baking dish and spooning the onions over the top. And then they bake low and slow for a whole hour. They’ll start to cook down, their flavor will get more concentrated, but you crank up the heat for fifteen minutes or so to add a final flourish of char and flavor.
They’re the perfect way to honor the oh-so-wonderful tomato. While there’s nothing wrong with slicing a vine-ripened tomato and eating it with a sprinkle of salt all on its own, this technique transforms them into a side dish that you won’t soon forget.
Italian Roasted Tomatoes
Serves 4; 10 minutes prep, 1 hour 20 minutes cook time
- 12 large roma tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 300°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Halve the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Add olive oil, garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, and sugar and toss gently.
- Spread tomatoes, cut side up, across prepared pan and spoon onions over the top. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 1 hour. Increase temperature to 425°F and roast until slightly charred, about 15 more minutes. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Noshing with the Nolands.