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Reviving Lackluster Tomatoes Is as Easy as Turning on Your Oven

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With the end of tomato season rapidly approaching, we don’t want to let any tomatoes go to waste—not even bad ones. SASSY KITCHEN clearly agrees: Recently, over on the Hotline, she was lamenting a two-pound pile of tomatoes that had been left to linger on her counter for over two weeks and were no longer fragrant, and wondered if they could be saved.

BerryBaby assured her they could, and instructed her to cut them in halves, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in a 400° F oven until they are bubbling and their skins are turning brown—about 30 minutes. At this point she lets them cool and removes the skins, saying: “Sometimes I put the peeled tomatoes in a blender to make a ​sauce, other times, I cut them up, add fresh basil and garlic and toss it with pasta. Lots of possibilities!”

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Roasted Tomatoes and Onions on Toast
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Roasted Tomatoes and Onions on Toast

Reviving lackluster tomatoes is just one of the many reasons why BerryBaby received this month’s Hotline MVP title. Since joining our community earlier this year, she’s been very active across the site, and especially engaged on the Hotline—she’s always ready to swap kitchen tips and tricks. Here are a few of our favorite responses from her this month:

Top each slice with a mix of berries or seasonal fruit before serving, no one will know how it looked "undressed."

When the coating starts to come off or if they have lots of scratches—that can be dangerous. I had this happen on very early versions (70s) but not on the newer cookware. I'd toss it.

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A big pot of chili or beef stew. If chili, set up a chili station with shredded cheese, chopped onions, jalapeno peppers, and corn tortillas. A big basket of mini cornbread muffins goes especially well. Beef stew is always a great meal, especially on cooler fall evenings. Many can pitch in cutting up the vegetables, ​and the best thing is once everything is in the pot, you can visit, play board games or cards, and enjoy the amazing aroma of the stew. Serve it with a crusty, hot loaf of Italian bread... There's nothing like it!

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Congratulations to BerryBaby and thanks to everyone who participates over on the Hotline—the community wouldn’t be the same without you.

New here? To thank our members for their dedication to helping out their fellow cooks, every month we’ll choose a Food52er whose activity on the Hotline has caught our eye, and treat him or her to a $25 gift certificate to our Shop. Want to boost your kitchen karma? We’re looking for enthusiastic participation throughout the month that is helpful, thoughtful, and considerate.

Tags: hotline, contest, hotline mvp