The Tyranny of Winter Tomatoes

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For a serious tomato lover like myself, the colder months present a real challenge. The only thing more heartbreaking than a tomato in February is that day in October when you realize the season has ended.

And winter tomatoes are a tease, like that one warm day in January. You actually think for a moment that winter will relent early.

Maybe that perfectly round, lustrous tomato still on the vine will taste as good as it looks. They seem to mock you with their physical perfection.

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Don’t be fooled.

Sometimes out of desperation I will buy grape or cherry tomatoes. But I learned long ago not to delude myself into thinking they will taste good raw.

Instead, I will roast them at 350 degrees with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until they burst. Roasting sad winter tomatoes concentrates the little flavor they have and makes them surprisingly palatable.

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Close your eyes, turn on a humidifier and you might be able to imagine yourself in August.

I miss summer.

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