Cherry Tomato Candy
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Recipe by Samin Nosrat
Reprinted from Waffles + Mochi: The Cookbook. Available everywhere books are sold November 2021.
Have you ever had tomato candy? Yes, tomato candy! It’s a wonderful treat and a healthy reminder that the best things come to those who wait.
You may already know that fresh-from-the-vine red tomatoes are bright, juicy, tender, fruity, and the perfect balance of salty and sweet. But these glazed and slow-roasted tomatoes give you even stronger versions of these classic flavors.
And the texture might be the real star here! As the skins crisp up, the interior becomes chewy and the concentrated flavors burst with each bite. Serve this over cooked pasta with grated Parmesan and fresh basil.
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Set an oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Did you know that a tomato is actually a fruit? By definition, a fruit is a ripened flower ovary and contains seeds. You might be surprised to know that zucchinis are edible fruits, too.
In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat, then add sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Gently toss again to coat.
There are 10,000 varieties of tomatoes across the world!
Using your hands, but being careful not to squish the tomatoes spread the tomatoes onto the baking sheet in a single layer, then place in the oven on the middle rack.
Every 30 minutes or so, jiggle the tomatoes to make sure they’re not sticking to the pan, and rotate the pan 180 degrees–all the way around–to keep the tomatoes cooking evenly. Roast until the tomatoes are semi-dried and shriveled and start to taste like CANDY, about 5 hours.
Did someone say candy???
'Cause I love sweet things. Especially when they're crunchy.
NOW, MAKE YOUR TASTEBUDS SING!
- If you don’t have time to slow-roast the tomatoes, raise the oven temperature to 350° F/ 175°C. Skip the sugar (it will burn at the higher temperature) and toss the tomatoes with only olive oil and salt. Roast as directed until the tomatoes are shriveled and just starting to split, about 45 minutes. Tomatoes cooked at this temperature won’t hold their shape in pasta and they won’t be quite as sweet, but they will still be delicious!
- Because it takes so much time to make the tomato candy, this is a great recipe to double, or even triple in the summer when every store and farmer’s market has lots of tomatoes! You can put any extra tomato candy in a glass jar, cover the tomatoes with olive oil, and refrigerate for up to 6 weeks. Or, freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid and then pack them into freezer bags and freeze for up to 6 months.
- In addition to pasta, Tomato Candy tastes great as an omelet topping.
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