You Can Roast Tomatoes in the Microwave

You Can Roast Tomatoes in the Microwave
Photo: A.A. Newton

Of all the many ways to preserve summer tomatoes, slow-roasting them might be my favourite. If you can carve out enough time in your schedule to make a batch, you’ll be rewarded with sweet, juicy little nuggets of savoury tomato candy — they’re everything we love about peak-season tomatoes, concentrated into the perfect bite.

Unfortunately, these delightful morsels also require you to run your oven for at least three hours, which for many people is a dealbreaker. Who has that kind of time?!

If you want to achieve that juicy slow-roast tomato feel, without sitting in front of the oven for hours on end, there is an alternative. Pop the bad boys in the microwave. Zap your tomatoes for about 10 minutes, and the result will shock you: it’s damn delicious.

Making microwave roasted tomatoes is also exactly like making the regular kind. This is everything you’ll need to make a batch — or several:

  • A shallow, microwave-safe baking dish (I’ve also successfully used a dinner plate with raised edges)
  • Fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs, bay leaves, and/or unpeeled garlic cloves
  • Olive oil

Halve small tomatoes or quarter large ones, arranging them cut side-up in the baking dish as you go. You want them packed in snugly — they’ll shrink as they cook — but keep them in a single layer so they cook evenly.

When the dish is full, season the tomatoes generously with salt and pepper. Tuck any herbs or garlic cloves in between the tomatoes, then add enough olive oil to come about halfway up the sides, keeping the cut surfaces exposed. Microwave on high power for 10 minutes, checking every 1-2 minutes to see how they’re doing. As with all microwave recipes, the exact cooking time will depend on your oven, the size of the tomatoes, and how many you’re cooking. If they look done after 5 minutes, they’re done; if 10 minutes isn’t cutting it, keep going.

When they’re cooked to your liking, cool the tomatoes completely and transfer to a storage container — with every drop of that delicious oil, of course. If needed, repeat the whole process until you’re out of tomatoes. Your delicious oil-packed tomato candy will keep in the fridge for at least a month — and much longer in the freezer — so you can enjoy a taste of summer long after it’s gone.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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