FoodHints and Tips

Roma Tomatoes Are Ripe For Preserving

There seems to be a glut of plump little roma tomatoes at the moment. These beauteous oblong red globes are sweet as plums and it’s tempting to just stuff a couple into your mouth when you walk past the fridge. But besides slathering a salad with these scarlet gems, you might not realise how perfect they are for preserving too. Put in some time one weekend and you’ll be rewarded with bottles of the stuff to add to any meal, in any weather.

Preserved Roma Tomatoes

I love sun-dried tomatoes, so this recipe involves oven drying the romas.

A big, huge tray of them, slowly roasted in a very low oven. And it’s so easy.

Servings: Loads   Time: 5 hours   Difficulty: Easy 


  • Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse salt, or to your liking
  • 2 teaspoons of caster sugar
  • A drizzle of olive oil


  1. Preheat your oven to 100 degrees Celsius
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them cut-side up, tightly packed, into a roasting pan
  3. Sprinkle them lightly with some coarse salt and 2 teaspoons of caster sugar, then drizzle a little olive oil over the top
  4. Bake for 3 to 5 hours (depending on how dry you’d like your tomatoes) and check after each half hour
  5. Pack into sterilised bottles and fill with olive oil to cover, making sure you’ve released all the bubbles by using a wooden skewer and lightly tapping the bottle on a board
  6. Seal and enjoy

Once opened, keep the bottle refrigerated and take it out of the fridge a little while before serving.

Bright Idea

Now this is where the genius in you comes out. You can add garlic, chillies, feta cheese, basil, mixed herbs, lemon rind or whatever your imagination allows.

No matter what your choice, there are so many ways you can use these tomatoes: in a salad, over chicken, as part of a tapas tray, with steamed green beans, you name it. Apart from this, the oil itself can be used in your everyday cooking or in a salad dressing as well.

These tomatoes are so versatile that you’ll be making them over and over. We made these with layers of tomatoes, sliced chillies, lemon rind and, right near the top, a layer of (super smooth and creamy) Danish feta cheese that we rolled into little balls. We used about 750g of roma tomatoes which (together with the feta, chillies and lemon rind) filled a 500ml canning jar.

There are so many other things you can do with these tomatoes too. Why not rustle up a tomato pasta sauce, which can be frozen, or tomato jam, which will keep for ages? If you have any other ways of using tomatoes, please share them with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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