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Garden Tomato Compote - A rich and delicious side dish made with garden tomatoes. Wonderful served with meats or seafood.

It’s early October, but with the warm Fall we’ve been having here in New England, many of our garden tomato plants are still going strong! In particular, we have San Marzano tomatoes still growing like crazy – so my husband Jack recently made this delicious Garden Tomato Compote.

San Marzanos are a type of Italian plum tomato – best known for being used to make sauces – but any type of tomato (plum or otherwise) will work in this Garden Tomato Compote recipe.

A compote is a French term for “mixture” and it is most commonly made with fruits that have been cooked until soft and reduced in a sweet syrup.  Tomatoes ARE technically a fruit – and this savory Garden Tomato Compote follows the same principle!

Garden Tomato Compote - A rich and delicious side dish made with garden tomatoes. Wonderful served with meats or seafood.

We roasted peeled tomatoes low-and-slow in the oven until soft and tender with some extra virgin olive oil, then mixed in a flavorful blend of chopped fresh basil and red pepper flakes, plus kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

This Garden Tomato Compote can be eaten hot or cold and the rich, concentrated tomato flavor is wonderful served as a side dish with any meat or fish. It is also delicious added to salads, sautéed vegetables, or even spread on a sandwich. Enjoy!

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Garden Tomato Compote - A Family Feast

Garden Tomato Compote

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart


  • 67 pounds garden tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped


  1. Place a pot of water on to boil and lay out a sheet pan and a large bowl of ice water. Lay out a second sheet pan with parchment paper for baking.
  2. Pull off stem and make an X on the opposite end of each tomato with a sharp knife.
  3. Work in batches of 8-10 tomatoes at a time and drop them into the hot water. After about a minute, the skin will start to peel. Remove them with a spider or strainer and plunge into the ice bath. Then remove from the ice water onto the sheet pan and peel off and discard skins. Repeat for all of the tomatoes.
  4. On a cutting board, split each tomato the long way for plum and horizontally for regular round tomatoes.
  5. Scoop out the seeds and pull off the stem. Lay the tomato half cut side up on the prepared parchment lined sheet pan. (For the round tomatoes, squeeze over a bowl and reach a finger up into each seed cavity to release the seeds.) Leave the core in but remove after baking.
  6. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  7. Once all of the tomatoes are skinned and seeded and are on the parchment lined sheet pan, drizzle the tops with the olive oil and sprinkle the salt, pepper and pepper flakes over the tomatoes.
  8. Bake for between two and three hours depending on the water content of the tomatoes. High water content tomatoes will take the full three hours. When you check them, they should just barely be starting to dry out but still be moist and supple. Do not over cook them otherwise they will dry out and stick to the pan. If you see a lot of water collecting on the pan, pour that off.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool.
  10. Place in a bowl and add fresh basil and toss. Can be served hot or cold with any meat or fish.

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Garden Tomato Compote - A rich and delicious side dish made with garden tomatoes. Wonderful served with meats or seafood.

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