Thoughts of Fall & Flirting with Oven-Candied Tomatoes

I think I have been mind cheating on summer. Technically, we have a few weeks before fall begins, but I’ve already had thoughts of beef bourguignon and spiced sweet potatoes. I can’t wait to turn my oven on. I can’t wait to start braising again.

I feel like a monster. Who is this person so ready to give up on summer? We have had so many fond food memories together. I’ve eaten salads enrobed in blueberry vinaigrette and had my breakfast sweetened with lemon lavender marmalade. And yet …

Oh, the guilt.

My remorse led me straight to the pool this past Sunday; a last-ditch effort to rekindle what was left of my summer romance with summer. It was so cold I kept my jacket on the entire time. It clearly wasn’t working.

I should have seen this seasonal adultery coming: all the signs were there. Last week, I lost my cool when I sliced open a melon from the farmers’ market and its juice dumped all over the floor. I’ve grown emotionally distant—a tad neglectful even—with my corn, letting its natural sugar quietly turn to starch in my bottom crisper drawer. I’ve become resentful of peaches. (For once, I’d like to eat a peach in peace, without having to stand over my kitchen sink and have juice dribble down my chin.)

I’ve even been working later and longer hours, as I recently took a job as a food columnist for the South End News. (Curious? Check out my column about Joanne Chang of famed Flour Bakery + Café and her sticky buns.) I’ve loved this extra work, but have been too tired to even attempt making a berry fool or nectarine tart. Or maybe I've just lost interest?

Then I encountered the oven-candied tomato. It was the best of both worlds: bursting with the final flavors of summer, while still being hearty enough to carry me right into the arms of fall. The tomatoes barely lasted 12 hours: a very brief affair (but definitely one to remember).

It was also just saucy enough to ease the guilt. And you know what they say about guilt; it's a wasted emotion. Oh wait, that's regret. On second thought, I'd better buy a bushel of tomatoes before it's too late.

Oven-Candied Tomatoes
Adapted from The Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetto Kasper

10 plum tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
3 springs rosemary, chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half and toss with olive oil on a sheet pan. Sprinkle with rosemary and red pepper flakes; generously season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes and then turn oven to 350 degrees and roast for another 30 minutes. (You may need to occasionally turn the pan to ensure even cooking.) Turn oven to 300 degrees and roast for an additional 30 minutes or until edges of tomatoes start to blacken slightly. If still not at desired doneness, turn oven to 250 degrees and roast for 10-15 minutes more.

Makes 20 halves

-I am hoping I will stumble across a glut of September tomatoes; they often become discounted towards the tail end of the season, if you can hold out long enough.

-Theoretically, you should be able to freeze the tomatoes for a few months, should you have enough self-control to let them last that long.


  1. Hehe, I am so not over summer although these tomatoes sound delicious for any season (and probably best this time of year!). I'm off to read your article although I think I may have read it already. Hey, another read about sticky buns won't hurt ;)

  2. These tomatoes sound delicious! I've been away the past week and haven't found my end of summer mojo yet.

  3. I have been thinking of fall a lot and feeling my thoughts for summer are more distant too. Even now as I have my iced tea, I am really wishing for a pumpkin spice latte.

  4. don't get me wrong--i love fresh maters. however, some time in the oven or sun does WONDERS for them!

  5. I missed out on canning tomatoes this summer so I'm very jealous.

  6. Thanks for posting the link to your article on Flour. Wish I lived close enough to go there more regularly! I love it there!

  7. I done went and gave you an award or two for your wonderful blogging. Head on over any time to pick it up.

  8. I really loved this post. As a matter of fact I like all the food and recipes you feature here. I'll be back often. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  9. "For once, I’d like to eat a peach in peace, without having to stand over my kitchen sink and have juice dribble down my chin."

    Ha! That does get old, doesn't it? (Guilty secret confession time: I peel my peaches - I don't like the fuzzy skin - and I cut them into segments. Then I eat them at the table, from a bowl, with a fork.)

  10. after reading your post friday night I headed straight to the farmer's market yesterday morning to score some plum tomatoes...then of course I couldn't find your post! I ended up using something I found online but I wish I saw the rosemary & crushed red pepper tip! they were still delicious though

  11. Seasonal adultery. Oh, that's good. (And I am so, so guilty.)