Cherry tomatoes4 to 5 cloves of garlic (optional) Fresh or dried thyme Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper Olive oil

Cut the tomatoes in half end-to-end, and place cut side up on a pan. Slice 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, and sprinkle over the tomatoes, if desired. Strip several sprigs of fresh or dried thyme, and sprinkle the leaves over the tomatoes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle extra-virgin olive oil liberally over all of the tomatoes.

Place in the oven at 200°F for 6 to 8 hours; the tomatoes will collapse, but not completely dry out. Cool and serve with crackers and soft cheese or package to preserve.

Here are a few ideas for using your slow-roasted cherry tomatoes: Mound onto a wedge of crusty bread, top with mozzarella and broil to melted sandwich perfection. Toss them with crumbled feta and serve over fresh greens for a light lunch. Add to pizza; feel free to skip the tomato sauce and drizzle pizza with olive oil instead. Toss with hot pasta and chopped fresh herbs for a simple, yet elegant meal.

Preserving Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Freezing: Pack tomatoes into a freezeable container, and pour the oil from the pan over the top. Cover with more olive oil if needed, label and freeze for up to 6 months.

Fridge: Transfer tomatoes to a jar and cover with olive oil. Cover jar with lid and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.