MEET THE SOUS CHEF
ANUP JOSHI, CHEF DE CUISINE, TERTULIA
The current object of Anup Joshi's affection: the hulking new wood-fired grill at Tertulia, where Joshi is chef de cuisine. At the restaurant, the grill is in constant use. The blistering surface is used to sear meat, artichokes are cooked to order over the coals, and when the fire has reduced to embers, Joshi harnesses the residual heat to slow-cook tomatoes and other vegetables overnight, until they're soft and sticky.
Slow-roasting caramelizes the sugars in the tomatoes, rendering them super-sweet. At home, Joshi modifies the method, using the oven instead of the grill. But the results are every bit as good, require virtually no effort, and can be deployed in myriad ways, whether used as a sandwich topping, tossed with pasta, or as the backbone for a roasted-tomato salsa or a Bloody Mary.
1 quart roasted tomatoes
Prep: 15 minutes (plus 2 hours resting)
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 6 hours, 15 minutes
Beefsteak tomatoes, 5 pounds (halved)
Garlic, one head (cloves peeled and gently smashed)
Fresh thyme, 5 sprigs
Fresh rosemary, 1 sprig
Sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons
Extra-virgin olive oil, 1¼ cups
Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon
Freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon
1. Preheat the oven to 275°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to toss together the:
- Halved tomatoes
- Smashed garlic cloves
- Thyme sprigs
- Rosemary sprig
- Sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup of the extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
2. Put the tomatoes skin side up on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the smashed garlic and herbs around the tomatoes (discard any extra marinade left over in the bowl).
3. Roast the tomatoes for 1 hour. After 1 hour, rotate the sheet pan and reduce the oven temperature to 175°. Continue to roast the tomatoes until the skins crack and the tomatoes feel soft to the touch, about 3 hours longer. Turn off the oven and let the tomatoes rest in the oven for 2 hours (or preferably overnight, if you have a gas oven with a pilot light).
4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Peel the skins off the tomatoes and discard; discard the garlic and herbs. Transfer the tomatoes to a quart-size glass canning jar and top with most of the:
- Remaining 1 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
Leave a ¼-inch space at the top of the jar (the tomatoes should be completely submerged in oil; you might not use all of the oil--you can also pack the tomatoes into smaller jars and top off each one with the olive oil). Twist on the jar's lid and refrigerate the tomatoes for up to 2 weeks.
STEP BY STEP
TIPS & TECHNIQUES
Low and Slow Is the Tempo
At Tertulia, Joshi roasts the tomatoes in the embers of the wood-fired grill overnight. At home, you can cook them in a low-heat oven or on your charcoal grill. If opting for the grill method, divide the marinated tomatoes between two large sheets of aluminum foil, wrap tightly and bury in the coals; let cook until the coals are completely cool.
Love Apple 101
Use the best tomatoes you can find. Beefsteaks, heirlooms and even cherry tomatoes will work (for the latter, reduce the cooking time). If you're working with less-than-pristine specimens, however, take heart: The slow-cooking method concentrates the flavor and sugar of even imperfect tomatoes.