Molly’s Tomatoes

Yesterday, my Friday started out like a dreadful Monday in disguise. It was pouring, I was running late for work and I had a flat tire. In retrospect, this wasn’t too bad. I called in late, pulled up my sleeves and youtubed: how to change a tire. I was mildly amused by the number of videos there were for this topic. After watching a few I thought I was fully-trained, if not an expert, on how to put on those silly-looking donut wheels. To make a long, miserable story short – my spare also turned out to be flat, the tow truck took 3 hours to pick me up, and it took 2 hours to get my wheel changed  – never in my life had I felt so much relief in returning home and closing the door behind me.

Before going to bed last night, I finished Molly’s book: A Homemade Life. If you haven’t already bought it, you need to go and pick up a copy. In her book she has a chapter appropriately titled and dedicated to happiness, which apparently is achieved by slow-roasting tomatoes for six hours. I was convinced. After my miserable chain of events, I set out to make this recipe on Saturday morning, and ran errands while the tomatoes did their thing in the oven.

mise en place

Molly’s recipe calls for coriander, which I didn’t have, but I sprinkled some dried thyme instead, and added couple cloves of minced garlic for good measure. I cook under the illusion that anything roasted should have garlic in it. Ultimately though, I was happy that I found a recipe for the large bowl of tomatoes idly resting on the dining room table, just waiting to be used.

tossed in olive oil, thyme & garlic

The dish couldn’t have been easier to put together. I sneaked a taste of a couple the quartered tomatoes, put the rest in the oven at 200 degrees F, and went on with my errands. *I knew I wasn’t going to take long, but if you’re going to do this, I recommend using the cook-time feature in your oven so that it could turn itself off automatically.

ready to combine

After six hours, your entire house will take on the wonderful scent of the roasted tomatoes and lemony thyme. In order to make it a meal, I toasted a few slices of a day-old baguette, topped them with a healthy smear of fresh goat cheese, and a couple pieces of the slow-roasted tomatoes. Molly was right, this is happiness.

roasted tomato, goat cheese crostini

As she describes in her book, the possibilities for flavoring or using these tomatoes are virtually endless. Tomorrow, for instance, I can’t wait to wake up and throw a couple of these in with my scrambled eggs. I can then layer a few more pieces inside my sandwich for lunch, or toss them in with my salad – you get the idea.

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

approx 1 cup of roasted tomatoes


  • 2 lbs roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • thyme, to taste (approx 1 tsp)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Putting them all together

  1. Wash and dry tomatoes. Quarter them and scatter them on a large baking sheet.
  2. Gently, using your hands, toss the tomatoes with the oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.
  3. Bake at 200 degrees F for 4-6 hours or until tomatoes crinkle at the edges and shrink by about half.
  4. Pull them out of the oven, let them cool and eat as desired.

notes: Recipe adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. Roma tomatoes are best for this recipe, but any tomato will work just as fine. You could go longer than 6 hrs if you’d like, I actually went 7hrs when I made these and they were excellent.


deliciously wrinkly

According to the atmospheric noise generated by this random-number generator, these three commenters will be receiving a pack of mahlab in the mail.

Congratulations to Hélène, Katie and Hannah, respectively, and thank you to everyone who commented and e-mailed me with their support.

20 thoughts on “Molly’s Tomatoes

  1. As soon as I saw your title in my reader, I knew exactly what recipe this would be! I am so glad you chose it because I have been dying to try it myself, it looks so delicious.

    I won something?! Yay, I didn’t even know I was in a contest. 🙂 I am so excited!

  2. Wow, I love your photography and how you lay out and mark the ingredients. Great idea! I may have to steal that.

    These tomatoes look amazing and putting them on bread was a great idea. Simple but tasty! Put a lid on them and you have a “grilled cheese.”

  3. WOW, what a fantastic site! I love this book, I have been devouring it (I know, an overused expression I’m sure) all week. This was one of the first recipes on my to-make list!

  4. mmmmmm…Tomatoes..yes! I`ve met my best Tomato yet in Jordan recently,kept it`s seeds and plan to plant them one day soon when I have my own about seeds of Joy..!! 🙂 Tomatoes are definitely a source for pure happiness..and a cure for yucky days..? Gotta give this recipe a try,it seems soooo delish!I would of thought that after so many hrs they wouldnt survive..?I seriously LOVE this! Thanx for sharing,hang in there 🙂 Mia

  5. Such a simple yet incredibly tasty-looking recipe… Must try this when tomatoes are at their peak.

    Oh wow, I can’t believe I won! How very exciting, I’m going to start brainstorming ways to use this new ingredient right now!

  6. I’ve made that recipe so many times. It is a huge crowd pleaser. I love having them on hand.

  7. Tony, I can taste the concentrated tomatoes now and the tart cheese is the perfect foil for sweet, sweet tomatoes.

  8. Hey Tony …you’re lost ! N aye aye …bad day you had there ..sorry about that, but these tomatoes more than make up for anything. Slow roasting ’em for 6 hrs … divine !

  9. Sadly tomatoes are a thing of the past as we are rapidly approaching winter in Melbourne!

    Nice to have discovered your blog – your photos are gorgeous!

  10. I’m reading Molly’s books and loving it! I haven’t reached the part about these tomatoes and now I can’t wait till I get there. These look absolutely delicious and seems like with something as delicious as this, there are endless possibilities!

  11. I love the idea. great photos as well. I will try that instantly. now it is full of fresh, ripe tomatoes here and goat cheese should not be a problem as well.

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