Did you know you can roast tomatoes over the campfire? Roasted tomatoes are a really tasty, simple, yet sophisticated dish to enjoy whilst camping. Yum. Yum.
Roasted tomatoes and shallots is a simple yet sophisticated recipe that will have your mouth watering for more. Even better, you can cook it over the campfire...
Roasted tomatoes are a popular dish in our household, so it wasn't long before we tried it at the campsite.
This is a side dish or a starter rather than a full meal, and great served with some crusty bread to dip into the caramelised tomatoes.
You don't need much to roast the tomatoes:
- Cherry tomatoes. At least a couple of packs.
- A few shallots
- A splash of olive oil
- A drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar
- Some basil for seasoning
How to cook Roasted Tomatoes in a Dutch Oven
Roasting the tomatoes over a campfire is best done in a Dutch Oven.
You can use just foil if you don't have a Dutch Oven (see below).
- Chop the shallots. Don't chop them too small, as they'll disappear when roasted.
- Wash the cherry tomatoes. Don't cut them.
- Put a splash of olive oil in the Dutch Oven and add the shallots and tomatoes.
- Add some basil.
- Pour over some Balsamic Vinegar. This can be quite strong, so you may only want a little.
- Gently stir the ingredients so they are covered in olive oil and some of the balsamic vinegar.
- Put the lid on the Dutch Oven and heat over hot coals or a campfire.
The tomatoes will take between 20 to 40 minutes to cook, depending on the hot coals you have.
What you're looking for is the tomatoes to have 'popped' and caramelised in their own juices along with the balsamic vinegar. All the shallots will be cooked by this point.
Remember to keep moving your Dutch oven when they're cooking to avoid uneven heat spots, and as they're cooking, give them a gentle stir to make sure nothing is burning and sticking to the bottom of the Dutch oven. If they are, you have it too hot and/or the oven too close to the coals.
Tomatoes, Vinegar, and Dutch Ovens
If you've been looking after your Dutch Oven, you will have been building up a nice seasoning to it (see here).
Unfortunately, the acid in the tomatoes, plus the vinegar in this dish, can eat away at your seasoning. So, after you've served up and cleaned out the Dutch oven, smear some oil in the oven, put the lid back on, and pop it back over the hot coals or fire to boost the seasoning.
I do this after every meal, so I have a good seasoning in my oven.
Cooking Roasted Tomatoes without a Dutch Oven
If you have a cast iron skillet, you can do this dish over the fire, though you won't be able to cook as many tomatoes.
You could use foil if you don't have a cooking pot suitable for a campfire.
- Place two large foil sheets on each other (shiny side up) and roll up the sides to make a baking tray shape.
- Add some oil and the tomato and shallot mixture. (Mixing these with oil and balsamic vinegar would be easier before pouring onto the foil).
- Get another large sheet of foil and wrap it all over it.
- Place this foil tray level onto warm embers - not flame. You don't want very hot embers, which will burn through the foil. Hot ground and stones warmed from the fire can help as well.
This will take longer to cook than the Dutch oven, and to avoid getting ash, you won't want to keep peeling back the foil to take a look. Move the foil now and then to avoid any hot spots.
Enjoying your tomatoes
You'll want to serve this on plates with steep sides, as the juice can run.
Try a sprinkle of sea salt and a very small drizzle of balsamic vinegar to season your tomatoes more.
The tomatoes are best enjoyed with some nice bread to dip into the sauce.
You could get the kids to make bread twists over the campfire, and dip those in the roasted tomatoes for a sophisticated twist on a campfire classic. Then enjoy a glass of something around the campfire.