This Roasted Tomato Winter Salad is a great way to punch up the flavour when fresh produce is not as plentiful as in summer.
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I was casting about the refrigerator, a bit bored with salads and wondering how to get excited about a salad. I was wishing that I could get some fresh tasty tomatoes but that is not always an option in the middle of a Canadian winter.
Grape or cherry tomatoes can still be good but hot house and vine tomatoes in winter can be tasteless and somewhat like cardboard. Then I thought ' I wish I had some sun dried tomatoes on hand...' (See Note 1 & 2)
Then it hit me! Why couldn't I take some whole canned tomatoes and roast them to intensify the flavour?
I can tell you - it is worth the roasting time. There is no work involved - just time. You need about 90 minutes to roast them slowly.
I took a 28 oz can of tomatoes and drained off the juices. You can save the juice for another purpose. You could even freeze it til the next time you make a soup, sauce or stew.
I spread the tomatoes out on a pan sheet lined with parchment paper. I sprinkled them with an Italian spice mix and coarse sea salt.
Popped them in the oven and they turned out beautifully. One of the things I learned is to leave the smaller tomatoes whole, and halve the larger ones vertically. That way they are approximately the same size and roast uniformly.
They make a nice substantial addition to your salad. They actually become the shining star of the salad. Celery, cucumbers, onions and parsley perked up the flavours as well. You can use any combination of salad additions you like.
I served it with a very light lemon vinaigrette so the flavour of the roasted tomatoes could shine through. Be sure to use fresh lemon juice since lemon is the only flavour that will come through.
I hope this may help you out of your winter salad blahs!
- 6 cups mixed salad greens
- 3 green onions sliced
- 2 Tbsps minced parsley
- 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes drained (reserve juice for another use)
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- ½ English cucumber sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian spices
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 Tbsps minced shallots
- 2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
- 6 Tbsps good quality olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsps fresh parmesan for garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a pan sheet with parchment paper. Drain the tomatoes and reserve juices for another use.
- Halve the largest tomatoes vertically. Leave smaller ones intact. Spread tomatoes evenly around the pan so they are not crowded.
- Sprinkle tomatoes with Italian spices and sea salt.
- Roast tomatoes for 90 minutes. Check after an hour. If any smaller tomatoes are getting black remove them from the oven. Check periodically from 60-90 minutes for doneness. Remove tomatoes from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
- Mix all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix dressing ingredients and shake well. Taste the dressing and adjust seasoning to taste. Drizzle dressing over the salad, toss and serve.