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A Winter Tomato Schmear and 8 Ways It’ll Save Your Weeknight Meals

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Nicholas Day's Slow Roasted Tomatoes for Winter is like your first college acceptance letter—an indication of good things to come, your ticket to so many possibilities.

Yes, you can make it with farro as the recipe suggests, but that's like choosing that first college: You’re going to like it, but you’re not considering all the other options.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Farro for Winter
Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Farro for Winter

Because before the farro comes into the picture, the recipe has you roast canned tomatoes with herbs and garlic and olive oil on a low temperature for a long time.

And unlike choosing between colleges, you can say yes to more than one meal option—and there are many. Make a very big batch of these tomatoes on the weekend (I would quadruple it), and your week of meals just got more interesting without much added effort.

Only one of many, many possibilities.
Only one of many, many possibilities. Photo by James Ransom

Here's how to set yourself for the week:

Make these over the weekend:

Have these ingredients on hand for on-the-fly cooking:

  • Pasta of choice
  • Eggs
  • Bread for sandwiches
  • Mozzarella
  • Coconut milk
  • White fish
  • Store-bought or homemade pizza dough and your favorite toppings
  • Broth
  • Parmesan cheese
Basic Cooked Dried Beans

Basic Cooked Dried Beans by The Canal House

Pink Greens

Pink Greens by Marissa Grace

How to Make Homemade Pizza Dough

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Cowgirl Creamery's Parmesan Broth

Cowgirl Creamery's Parmesan Broth by Sue Conley & Peggy Smith


Take those building blocks and fix yourself good meals:

  1. Take a cue from the original recipe and swirl it into farro. Top it with a 6-minute egg and/or greens.
  2. Boil some pasta, then pretend it’s jarred pasta sauce, only better. Dinner in 20 minutes!
  3. Or pretend it’s tomato sauce and use it on a pizza. Top with cheese and vegetables, as you would.
  4. Make a panini with schmear, greens, and mozzarella.
  5. Swirl it into soft scrambled eggs, with or without toast.
  6. Sauté some onions and garlic in a soup pot, then add curry powder. Add coconut milk and a big spoon of the roasted tomatoes. Simmer and adjust to your tastes. Add whatever curry accessories that you like: the beans and greens you cooked over the weekend, tofu, lentils, peas, carrots, fish, and so on.
  7. Cook a classic pasta e fagioli by substituting the canned tomatoes for your roasted ones. and the beans, pasta, and broth you have at your disposal. Shave some Parm on top.
  8. Use it as a glaze on fish, like char. For a creamy marinade, stir the tomato into some mayo before glazing.
Two Ways to Perfect A Fish Glaze

Two Ways to Perfect A Fish Glaze by cheese1227

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli by QueenOfGreen

Soft Scrambled Eggs

Soft Scrambled Eggs by Merrill Stubbs

Sweet Potato Lentil Curry Soup

Sweet Potato Lentil Curry Soup by sarah kieffer | the vanilla...

Tell us in the comments: What do you always have on hand to make sure you'll have a week of good meals?

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Condiment, Tomato, Weeknight Cooking, Roast, Make Ahead