Marie Kawaguchi is a Northern Utahn who was diagnosed with celiac disease over 16 years ago. Through From the Community, she’ll share gluten-free recipes and stories of support for others with the disease. She enjoys spending time with family, reading, watching movies and more.
If you are like many of us, you’ve been overrun with tomatoes in the garden this year. You’ve stewed, canned and made salsa for years to come. But what about all those grape or cherry tomatoes? You’ve probably eaten plenty in salads and vegetable platters, but have no idea what else to do with them.
Worry no more — roast them! I adore roasting grape tomatoes because they are so sweet and the skins are so tender there is no need for peeling.
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Roasted tomatoes are the ultimate decadent ingredient for our spaghetti sauces, lasagna, soups, etcetera. We even dollop it onto pizza in the winter and spread it on baguette slices. I never fail to receive a compliment when I include it in a recipe.
Many years ago, a dear friend, Ruth, shared with me her recipe for roasting tomato slices. She used them in stews, spaghetti and soups, and the result were fantastic. However, after trying my hand at it, I realized that I needed something a little different, so I modified the recipe to better meet my cooking needs. It’s easy and delicious.
Marie’s Roasted Grape Tomatoes
Spray a large roasting pan with Pam or a similar product. Fill ¾ of the way full with freshly washed grape tomatoes (my favorite). Next, pour approximately 1 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil over the tomatoes, followed by:
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 6-8 chopped garlic cloves
- 2-4 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup good quality balsamic vinegar (I use the Kirkland brand)
Stir everything and place in a preheated, 325-degree oven, and leave to roast. After one hour, remove pan from oven and using a potato masher, begin mashing about half the tomatoes. Be careful — they are famous for squirting uncovered arms and clothing! Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary for your personal taste. Stir again, and return to the oven for another hour.
Continue to roast, mash and stir each hour until you are happy with the results. We like ours to resemble a thick chili in appearance, which takes three to four hours, but the choice is yours — you can make the mixture as thick or thin as you’d like.
Once the roasting process is complete, allow the mixture to cool at room temperature for a bit, then fill pint or quart glass jars, leaving 1 inch of head space. Top with canning lids and rings, and place in the refrigerator. After several hours, label and place the jars in the freezer for future use.
To use, thaw and spoon as much or as little into your soups, stews and spaghetti sauces as you would like. Begin by using two tablespoons in your recipe, taste and adjust accordingly. Don’t be afraid to try your roasted tomatoes on pizza or as a topping for vegetables. Do you want something more basic, for use in chili, for instance? Leave out the sugar and Balsamic vinegar. Is your garden overrunning with Roma tomatoes? Feel free to use them in place of the grape tomatoes — just be sure to peel them first.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s gluten free. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1999 and was determined to not only learn all I could about the condition, but adjust my lifestyle accordingly so I could live a full, satisfying life despite any challenges. It was through this determination I began developing strategies for meal preparation to get through busy days at work and home.
In future columns, I’ll share my experience with the emotional impact of living with celiac disease, as well as some of my gluten-free strategies.
Do you have something you’d like to share with me? Feel free to contact me at email@example.com.