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

February  8, 2016

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.

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.

Shop the Story

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. 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

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.

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

Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Freddurf
  • Teresa Shuler
    Teresa Shuler
  • Mary Blumreich
    Mary Blumreich
  • HDeffenbaugh
  • Jay Burnett
    Jay Burnett
Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.


Freddurf April 23, 2016
I made the slow roasted tomatoes today with fresh thyme. They were absolutely delicious! As suggested, I added them to a bowl of farro, then added black beans, avocado and feta cheese. Tasty, easy and healthy!
Teresa S. April 8, 2016
Yum! Ingredients are some of my favorites so tried this yesterday. The house smelled wonderful while it was cooking and it tasted just as good. Served it over pasta. Today I have a double batch cooking to try with other recipes. This is going to be a go to recipe for me!
Mary B. April 7, 2016
I hate cooking with a passion and it's only for me nowadays but this sounds doable. I have my list for the next time grocery shopping happens and am bound and determined to try this method, at least once. I do love tomatoes and generally eat them fresh at every meal, so these recipes should be right up my alley. Thanks!
Ali S. April 7, 2016
I hope it works for you! Let us know how it goes—and how else we can help.
HDeffenbaugh April 6, 2016
Great way to use the over abundance of tomatoes that will come from the garden this summer.
Jay B. April 6, 2016
I did this over t he weekend with over the hill tomatoes - enjoyed them in stuffed chicken dish. But the idea of using canned whole tomatoes is great.
Thanks Food 52. .
Jona @. February 12, 2016
Sounds amazing!
Riddley G. February 8, 2016
I love this recipe from my head tomatoes.
Caroline L. March 29, 2016
Damiana April 6, 2016
This joke is infuriating and I love you.