Tomato Chewies

Yields: 1 1/2 cups (easily multiplied)
Preparation time: 2 hours (10 minutes of work)

Here is a wonderful way to transform ordinary Roma (plum) or cherry tomatoes into a delicacy. The process is similar to making oven-dried tomatoes, but some moisture is left in, so the tomatoes become wonderfully chewy, retaining and intensifying their natural sweet and tart qualities.

  • Serve Tomato Chewies as a garnish, for snacks, or on sandwiches or grains. Float them in soups, add them to pasta, or sprinkle them on top of a platter of roasted vegetables. They are truly delightful and versatile.
  • Since tomatoes are at their peak during the summer, when you might not feel like having your oven on for two hours, maybe you'd like the option of making these in the winter instead. No problem! Just cut the fresh tomatoes in half and freeze them until solid in a single layer on a plate or tray. Then gather them into a sealed plastic bag and store in freezer until use. You don't need to defrost them before they go into the oven.
1 pound Roma or cherry tomatoes
Olive oil for the baking tray
  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line a baking tray with foil and brush it generously with olive oil.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half (lengthwise for Roma tomatoes) and arrange them cut side up in a single layer on the prepared tray. (It's okay if they are touching.)
  3. Bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, jostling them loose and moving them slightly every half hour or so, so they don't stick and/or burn. (Although you are moving them slightly to prevent sticking or burning, don't actually turn them over. They cook best if left facing up for the duration of the baking.)
  4. Transfer to a platter lined with a double thickness of paper towels and cool for at least 30 minutes. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for softer, moister Chewies, or leave them uncovered and out of the refrigerator, and they will dry out a bit more and become somewhat crispy. They're lovely both ways.
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