September 1, 2014 – The longer, narrower cousin to the ever-popular Large Round, Roma tomatoes bring uniquely tasty qualities to the kitchen table. Roma (or Plum) tomatoes feature a dense, meaty flesh, low moisture content and few seeds, making them perfect candidates for tomato paste, sauce, ketchup or roasting.
How to Choose It
Choose Roma tomatoes of a deep red color that are firm and heavy for their size with no bruises or blemishes on the skin.
How to Store It
Store your Romas at room temperature and use within a few days. Do not put any sort of tomato in the fridge as it will lose its flavor and develop an unpleasant, mealy texture.
How to Use It
There’s nothing better than pasta or veggies in fresh, homemade tomato sauce. Roma tomatoes make particularly great sauces because of their low moisture content and few seeds, which can be easily removed prior to cooking. To peel tomatoes for the sauce, cut a small “x” on the top, drop into boiling water for 10 seconds and submerge in ice water. This blanching effect will allow skin to peel off easily.
Tip: For a sweeter flavor, add a piece of carrot to the sauce while cooking to absorb the acidity of the tomatoes.
Homemade ketchup is a great way to add a personal touch to burgers, fries and brats. As with pasta sauce, remove seeds and skin of your Roma tomatoes before cooking. Chop peeled tomatoes and add to a sauce pan or slow cooker with brown or white sugar, vinegar and spices.
The firm and dry qualities of Roma tomatoes provide great roasting opportunities. One way to enjoy roasted Romas is to halve, gut and stuff the tomatoes prior to roasting. Fill them with your favorite ingredients and roast for about 30 minutes – or until tomatoes are cooked through or the top of your filling is a light golden brown.
Sun dried tomatoes are a flavorful and gourmet addition to any dish or salad. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F and slice your Roma tomatoes in half. Place the tomatoes skin side down on a lined baking sheet and liberally cover with salt, pepper and spices like rosemary and thyme. Roast tomatoes between 2 to 6 hours or until they are barely moist and shriveled, but not crisp.