Heartbeet Kitchen
Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Preserved in Olive Oil
September 20, 2014 in Appetizer · Canning and Preserving · Dairy-Free · Fall · Gluten-Free · Nut-Free · Paleo · Seasonal · Summer · Vegan · Vegetables · 47 Comments

I’ve been pushing off fall since I flipped the calendar to September, hanging on to summer as long as I possibly be can, but there’s a point where there’s no denying that it’s here. In Minnesota, September is perfection. This week I pulled out a light sweater and wore leggings every day, much to my heart’s content. I felt like snuggling, baking and braising. Our internal clocks just know.

I usually take one whole weekend to embark on a canning fest that always includes this spicy roasted salsa and this milder, punchy Salsa Verde (made from tomatillos). This year I wanted to add these tiny heirloom cherry tomatoes to the extravaganza, their colors and flavors so vibrant, something I wanted to savor for longer than their regular “fresh life”.

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Preserved in Olive Oil {heartbeet kitchen blog}Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Preserved in Olive Oil | heartbeet kitchen

I can’t even express the sweetness of the older woman who sold these to me at the market. I knew she was a gem from the moment I saw her standing in front of her station wagon, wide brimmed hat, collared shirt and bright red lipstick.

She had a very select offering; pints of these rainbow-esque cherry tomatoes, a few larger heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs (some dried and made into beautiful bouquets) and unique decorative gourds. I jumped at the chance to buy from her, $2 a pint for these beauties. I almost felt like I was stealing.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Herbs & Smashed GarlicRoasted Cherry Tomatoes Preserved in Olive Oil | heartbeet kitchen

As one tumbled out of the teal blue container, she muttered, “oh, that darn Mighty Mato, trying to escape again.” And you see this one? This here’s my favorite, the Thai Pink Egg. That baby girl pink gets me every time, and it doesn’t get too soft even when very ripe. Plus you never have to worry about it splintering. She went on to name 7 more varieties in the two little baskets. They were like her children, and she was sending them off to flourish.

When I got home I tasted through the different colors and shapes, each different and intriguing – some sweet, some tart. Some fruiter than others, and some as juicy as a Colorado peach. It was an easy choice to decide to preserve them. It was not only to savor their deliciousness a little longer, but also the memorable interaction with “tomato lady”.

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Preserved in Olive Oil {heartbeet kitchen blog}

Preserving doesn’t get much easier than this. All it takes is a slow roast at low heat, with the tomatoes smattered with fresh herbs and garlic. They’ll transform into little nuggets of deep, concentrated flavor without having to lift a thumb. I recommend going all out to finish them, covering them when with the best olive oil you can afford. I used what was left of a special bottle that I had bought from a small, organic farm that we visited last year near Healdsburg, as fruity and smooth as I’d ever tasted.

The time is now to pick up a few extra pints of tomatoes. I can guarantee you won’t regret this little experiment. Your soups, pastas, toasts and risottos will have you savoring summer a little longer.

{filming by my talented friend Annie D’Souza!}

preserved cherry tomatoes & soft cheese on toast | heartbeet kitchen

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Preserved in Olive Oil
Recipe type: paleo, vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 pints
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, I use heirlooms of all colors
  • ¾ cup of the best olive oil you can afford (or enough to cover), divided
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 6-8 basil leaves, torn
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A few cracks of black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Rinse and dry the tomatoes, then spread onto a large baking sheet. Add the thyme, basil and garlic to the pan, then drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss with your hands, making sure everything is coated, especially the garlic and herbs to keep them from getting crispy.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then give a good stir to coat everything. Roast for 2½ hours, stirring a few times throughout, or until tomatoes are blistered and shrunken as shown above.
  3. Taste one and sprinkle with a little more salt if needed. Remove garlic and herbs, as they can spoil and are not safe for preserving, then add the tomatoes to a sterilized jar. Cover completely with olive oil and store in the refrigerator for up to 18 days, just make sure they stay completely submerged in the oil. The olive oil will harden in the refrigerator, which is fine, just let sit out before serving and it will return to liquid.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google +
  • Stumble
  • Email

47 thoughts on “Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Preserved in Olive Oil

  1. Kate

    I did this last year and loved the results, plus, the flavored oil when the tomatoes were all gone was gorgeous. These were so good on toasted bread and they did not last long at all. Now I think I need to do this again!

    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Patricia, thanks for sharing with your sister! I truly love the easy of using olive oil to preserve different vegetables. And then you have great flavored oil afterwards too.

    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi Sheila! The preserved tomatoes will last one to two months in the refrigerator, just make sure they stay completely covered in olive oil and use a clean spoon every time you eat them. I updated the recipe too with this info, thanks for asking!

      1. Sarah trebilcock

        Can you freeze them? I freeze all my tomato sauces including roasted tomatoes, so Ia m guessing yes?

        1. amandapaa Post author

          Hi Sarah! Yes, you could freeze them, but I would not cover in olive oil after roasting. I would instead freeze them as is off the pan, tightly wrapped.

    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi Julia! That’s the best part about this recipe, preserving without canning! Very simple. Although I have to say I love to can the “long” way. It’s really not as scary as one might think. xo

  2. Dean

    Just finished a batch. Delicious! I’m excited to try them after a few days in the fridge after the flavor has a bit more time to “set.” If they last that long, that is. :)

    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Dean, thanks for letting me know you made a batch! The oil and flavor really deepens after a few days like you mentioned. I just used the last of mine with roasted beets and sauteed spinach last night. Delicious!

    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi Brigitte! Unfortunately this recipe be can’t be canned because there is not enough acid in it. The olive oil would become unstable as well. They will last in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks though. Enjoy!

  3. Brigitte

    Thank you for replying back :) The 1 to 2 months is the how long I’m suppose to let it sit in the fridge before eating it?

  4. Nona

    Love this – thanks for the recipe! I’m thinking of putting them in small jars and giving away as treats, to celebrate our first official veggie garden this year!

    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Glad you like the recipe Nona! What a great idea to give the fruits of your labor to friends and family. Growing your own food can be so rewarding!

  5. Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls

    I love love love this … and I have some small tomatoes that I need to preserve because I won’t eat them all in time! I have to respectfully disagree about the garlic and herbs, though … I have used both on my marinated cheese and it keeps in the fridge safely for a month or more–and gives both the oil and the cheese such a wonderful flavor! If you were storing this at room temp, yes it would be VERY risky, but since you’re putting them in the fridge, it’s fine to leave the garlic and herbs in.

  6. EllenFitz

    Once you put them in the fridge and the EVO congeals, do you see any reason you couldn’t then move the jar to the freezer to extend the life past the initial few weeks? For those with too many tomatoes that might be a workaround since canning isn’t an option.

    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi Ellen! I think that’s a great idea. It would kind of be like the “herb” ice creams that are made with olive oil in ice cube trays, then frozen.

  7. charmion

    Hello from Suffolk U.K. Just trying out your lovely recipe….toms roasting in the oven as we speak. Thanks for your info Amanda.

  8. Hege

    Greetings from Australia, where it us late summer and my cherry tomatoes are too prolific to keep up with eating fresh, a lovely “problem” to have! This recipe sounds wonderfully simple and delicious, just wanted to double check the oven temperature, Celsius or Fahrenheit…..?

    1. amandapaa Post author

      hi hege, and greetings! so neat to have an australian stop by. hope you enjoying your warm summer (cold here in Minnesota!) — this oven temperature is in Fahrenheit. xo

  9. Michelle

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing! So what are your thoughts on using a cryvack system to prolong the shelf life? A mild setting so as not to crush the tomatoes ?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *