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Preserved Tomatoes

Yield: 2 cups


  • 2 lb roma tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic, sliced in half, cloves removed
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 275º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  3. Slice a 1-inch X on the bottom of each tomato.
  4. Carefully place the tomatoes in the boiling water using a slotted spoon. Cook until the skin wrinkles and peels back, about 5 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, prepare an ice bath. When the tomatoes are ready, drain them, and immediately put them in the ice bath, so that they stop cooking.
  6. Peel the skin off the tomatoes, and cut them in half horizontally.
  7. Gently squeeze the tomatoes to remove the excess juice and seeds. Note: Strain and save the juice. It’s great in soup and sauces.
  8. Place tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar.
  9. Sprinkle the garlic cloves and thyme sprigs over the tomatoes. Bake for 3 hours, and then transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the tomatoes to cool completely.
  10. Store the tomatoes in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.


Smashed on a crispy crostini or a slab of focaccia, these tomatoes make a terrific appetizer — think goat cheese, olive oil, and flake salt. They’ll also lend your soups and sauces a ton of savory depth. Tomato basil soup? Definitely.