Slow Roasted Tomatoes

This week, I noticed that summer is truly coming to a close.  There were school buses, too many college students walking abnormally slow in the middle of the road, and Target was overrun by hyperactive children and their mother's sorting through notebooks and pencils. The back to school fervor of late August, the shorter daylight hours, the crisp breeze that appears every so often, and my craving for everything pumpkin and cinnamon means that fall is closing in. I couldn't be more excited since this fall is going to be amazing - I'm going on a mini-vacation with my bridesmaids, I'm getting married (!!!!!), and I get to see many of my favorite people. I look forward to fall every year, especially since I grew up somewhere that didn't have real seasons. I have always loved everything about fall - the colors, the weather, the fashion (be still my boot and jacket loving heart!), and of course, the food. During the fall, my primary food groups are: pumpkin, squash, cinnamon, and apples, although my dog threatens to dwindle my apple supply since it is her favorite food (seriously). Even though I love fall, the end of summer does make me a bit sad.  This sadness comes about, if for no other reason, because of the fact that the bounty of summer tomatoes will soon fade away. Tomato season is a big deal in our house. There is always a large bowl on the counter that is overflowing with of a variety tomatoes - cherry, roma, heirlooms...we are equal opportunity tomato enthusiasts.  I love to slice them and eat them with a sprinkle of salt, stew them, make jam out of them, and make fresh pasta sauce. One thing I have never done? Slow roast them. I love slow roasted tomatoes with their intense sweetness that tastes like a burst of pure summer. I have always wanted to make them but was slightly put off by the thought of slow roasting them in my oven for hours on end during the summer heat, when tomatoes are at their peak. Who wants to have their oven on for hours when it is fairly warm outside?  Not me. Despite the heat, I was craving these little summer gems badly enough that I was willing to break a sweat.  Luckily, before I turned on the oven, Brad let me in on a little trick for slow roasting tomatoes: Crank the oven up to 400F until preheated, put the tomatoes in, then turn it off and forget about them. No need to have the oven on for hours. And the result? Slow roasted tomatoes that are chewy, slightly juicy, and oh so sweet. Perfect little bites to remind you of summer, even as it is coming to a close. Slow Roasted Tomatoes This isn't a recipe, but more of a suggested process. Change up the herbs, the spices, and make it your own!

What you need: - tomatoes (any will do! I love cherry and romas for roasting) - salt + pepper - thyme - rosemary - olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 400F. 2. Thinly slice your tomatoes (or halve if using cherry tomatoes) and spread evenly over a parchment lined baking sheet. 3. Drizzle about 1-2 Tbsp. worth of olive over tomatoes and gently toss to coat. 4. Sprinkle with black pepper, a tiny bit of salt (not too much!), and some chopped herbs.  I used some rough chopped rosemary and thyme.  Again, gently toss to coat. 5. Spread tomatoes evenly on baking sheet. Make sure to leave enough room between the tomatoes so they don't touch each other. I also added a couple springs of fresh rosemary and thyme over the tomatoes. 6. Once your oven is preheated, put tomatoes in and shut it off, leaving oven light on. 7. Forget about the tomatoes for about 2-3 hours.  Your tomatoes are done when they have reached your desired level of chewiness.  I did mine for about 3 hours but it really depends on your oven, tomatoes, and other factors.