Roasting tomatoes works on a principle similar to dry-aging steaks. You concentrate the flavor by evaporating some of the water. In addition, with tomatoes the gentle heat caramelizes some of the plant sugars, giving you rich umami flavors. You can serve roasted tomatoes as a side dish, on pizza or bruschetta, in pasta, or with cheese—the options are endless.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil to facilitate cleanup.
Step 2: Arrange the tomato halves cut side up on the prepared baking sheet. Season each tomato half with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle about 1 teaspoon of olive oil over each. Place a pinch of basil silvers or thyme leaves on each tomato half.
Step 3: Bake the tomatoes until they are lightly browned and shriveled but still pliant and moist, 3 to 4 hours. Serve the tomatoes right away or store them topped with a little olive oil in a covered container in the refrigerator; they’ll keep for at least a week.