Roasted Imnaha Tomatoes

This is a base recipe that I freeze or use right away. When it is fresh, just to put it on a good piece of crusty sourdough bread with chopped fresh basil and soft goat cheese is delicious. If you can, start with a good tomato, and Imnaha tomatoes are the best!

--Pamela Royes

5 pounds tomatoes, quartered (about 15)

1 sweet onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat oven at 425 degrees. Arrange the tomatoes, onions and garlic in a single layer in a large baking sheet (be sure not to overload the pan or the juices will spill out). Sprinkle with the basil, oregano, salt and pepper, drizzle with the olive oil and gently mix with your hands.

Roast for about 60 to 80 minutes, depending on how roasted you like them. They will caramelize and sweeten the longer they are in the oven. Cool to room temperature and store in a jar in the fridge or freeze in quart sized resealable plastic bags.

Talking homegrown tomatoes and more with Pamela Royes

Why did you choose to share this recipe?

I believe in tomatoes! Growing the tomatoes, the garlic, the onions… picking those things out of your garden and creating something, whether its roasted tomatoes or fresh salsa, it’s almost like a holy experience. A tomato is more than a tomato.

What do you love most about growing your own food?

You nurture those plants. It’s a living organism that has to be weeded, watered and cared for, and to watch it go from a seedling to a plant bearing fruit.

It is a lesson in stewardship and in seeing something through, from the conception to the gathering and the harvest. And then in the fall I pull up the stalks and I till in all that beautiful compost that has been percolating all summer, and everything rests. In the winter we rest and then in the spring we begin again. It’s that life cycle that is just essential. Being connected, from seed to sauce!

What other produce are you harvesting this time of year?

Basil for pesto, green beans, arugula, peppers, jalapenos… I like to can our jalapenos and pickle beets, dilly beans, [make] apricot jam, huckleberry jam, blackberry jam, and soon we’ll have apple cider! So many possibilities when you go out to the garden and overnight the cucumber patch has produced three or four dozen cucumbers, and the jalapeno bushes are on the ground, they’re so loaded with peppers and the green peppers—while you were looking the other direction—have turned yellow, and red.

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