This is a technique I learned from Tyler Wiard (currently the culinary director at Elway’s) while working at Mel’s in Cherry Creek years ago. It is something that I have continued to use over the years due to the simplicity of the process as well as the amazing finished product. This can be done with larger tomatoes also, but I feel is best with cherry tomatoes. Once they are dried up they have an incredible sweetness and flavor, and are great either mixed into a salad or thrown in with your favorite mix of roasted or sauteed vegetables. Once you try this you won’t want to eat them any other way!
Overnight Cherry Tomatoes
Yield: 1-2 Cups dried tomatoes
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arrange the halved tomatoes, cut side up. Sprinkle the tomatoes with olive oil, then season with kosher salt and black pepper.
(This can be done several hours in advance, and you can leave the tomatoes in your refrigerator until you are ready to roast them).
When you’re ready to roast (anytime after 8pm is fine), preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven is hot, place the tray of tomatoes in the oven, uncovered. Turn the heat OFF immediately. Do not open the oven door. Simply leave the tomatoes in the oven, with the heat off, all night long. The initial blast of heat gives them a jump start, then they slowly dry out as your oven slowly cools down. What a cool idea, right!?
When you wake up in the morning, open your oven to find your perfectly roasted and dried cherry tomatoes!
Brandon Foster began his life in the kitchen at the Best Western in Frisco, Colorado almost 18 years ago. His passion for ingredients and drive to learn technique led him down the mountain to Denver, where he worked in two of Denver’s most fondly remembered restaurants, The Fourth Story and Mel’s. He joined the crew at Vesta in 2005 as a line cook and became executive chef in 2010, focusing on getting back to the roots of cooking through charcuterie and seasonal ingredients. Ultimately, Chef Brandon’s career highlights centered on events like Plates for the Peak, Invest in Kids, and James Beard Foundation dinners where he could play a role in helping people in need- a passion that led him to Project Angel Heart in 2016. Outside of the kitchen, Chef Brandon enjoys spending time skiing, camping, golfing, and eating with his wife Larissa and their three kids.