Don't wait for summer. This cooking technique makes winter tomatoes perfectly tasty.

February 16, 2016

You don't have to be an award-winning restaurant chef to know that tomatoes in the winter are just sad—and rarely worth the money. They're pink, grainy, and as far from flavorful as concrete. After all, tomatoes bask in the summer's sun and warmth. They develop their deep flavor by spending hours ripening in the sweaty temps or long July days. Winter's chilly temps do absolutely nothing for these delicious fruits.

So am I telling you to avoid winter tomatoes entirely? Absolutely not. In fact, I'm about to show you the most delicious reason why you should be buying winter tomatoes regularly.

That reason? Aromatic Slow-Roasted Tomatoes.

This recipe is the sole reason you need to head straight to the tomatoes when you hit the grocery store next. Slow roasting is one of the best uses for winter tomatoes because it intensifies their sweetness. You can serve these tomatoes as a simple side with a piece of beef or chicken and a whole grain, or you can get creative:

- Put all the roasted tomatoes in a bowl. Blend with an immersion blender until chunky or smooth (your preference). You have a homemade tomato sauce that's perfect on top of pasta, with fish, or as the base of a hearty tomato soup.

- Chop finely once cooled. Add minced onion and basil. Spoon atop whole-wheat baguette slices for a wintery bruschetta. Drizzle with a balsamic glaze or reduction.

- Chop cooked tomatoes. Add to cooked pasta for a couldn't-possibly-be-easier dinner. Be sure to save a bit of the pasta water when you drain your noodles, and then stir it back in when you combine the pasta and tomatoes. The water adds thickness and creaminess, which makes the tomato sauce velvety rich without calorie-heavy cream.

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