Air fryers have quickly become a staple kitchen tool. From egg rolls to jerk chicken wings and everything in between, it seems like there's nothing that can't be air-fried. But air-fried fare doesn't always have to be a full-fledged meal, you can also jazz up simple ingredients to take them from ordinary to extraordinary. Enter the humble tomato.
Air-frying tomatoes is an easy way to give them a charred exterior without diminishing their juicy and succulent texture. When tomatoes are roasted in the air fryer, their sweet and earthy flavors become concentrated for a more intense and exciting taste. But what is the difference between roasting tomatoes in an air fryer versus a conventional oven? For starters, air fryers work twice as fast as conventional ovens, which makes them ideal for roasting vegetables promptly. Plus, the heated circulation in air fryers facilitates even cooking for consistent texture and flavor, so you won't end up with a batch of half-roasted tomatoes.
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Tips For Roasting Tomatoes In The Air Fryer
Air-frying tomatoes is a relatively simple process that's accessible to foodies who are new to cooking and well-seasoned chefs alike. But even a professional cook needs the occasional dose of tips and tricks for perfecting dishes, so before you roast tomatoes in the air fryer, keep a few pointers in mind.
To start, line your air fryer with parchment paper before you begin the roasting process to prevent a mess. Although you might want to reach for foil, heated or cooked food tends to cling to foil making it harder to remove, while parchment paper is specifically designed to keep food from sticking to its surface.
Whether you are roasting them whole, halved, or sliced is ultimately your choice, but if you opt for halved or sliced tomatoes, cut them each with consistent thickness to ensure that each slice is cooked evenly. Before you start the air fryer, drizzle the tomatoes with your favorite cooking oil to promote caramelization, browning, and richer flavor. Cooking times vary based on the size of the tomatoes and your desired level of charring, but a good place is start for timing and temperature is about eight minutes at 370 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can always perform an eye test by opening the air-fryer basket to ensure that they haven't been undercooked or overcooked.
Tomato Varieties And Uses
Fun fact of the day -- there are more than 10,000 types of tomatoes on Earth! So before you fire up the air fryer, consider the differences between a few varieties to determine which type best suits your desired use.
Beefsteak tomatoes are large cultivars with a quintessential tomato flavor. Thanks to their substantial size, air-fried roasted beefsteaks are excellent options for filling out burgers and sandwiches. Feeling adventurous? Hollow out the insides to turn this full-bodied tomato into an edible serving bowl filled with grains, greens, and proteins.
Cherry tomatoes are sweeter than many tomato varieties, and when roasted, their candied essence becomes concentrated taking on a flavor that's bursting with dulcet yet earthy aromas. Roasted cherry tomatoes are perfect for pasta dishes or warm salads. Don't get cherry tomatoes confused with grape tomatoes, which are less sweet, a tad smaller, and more oblong. Air-fried grape tomatoes are also ideal in recipes where you only need a bite-size amount of tomatoes, such as pizza or salads.
Tangy, full-flavored, and round, roasted heirloom tomatoes are classic cultivars that can complement anything from a burrata appetizer to a vegan burger. Don't forget green tomatoes! With their tart flavor and firm texture, roasted green tomatoes sit well in sandwiches and burgers and can be blended into salsas or sauces to give them a vibrant color and smoky tomato flavor. Whichever tomato variety you choose, have fun with it! Once you taste air-fried roasted tomatoes, nothing else will matter.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.