With this easy appetizer recipe, you'll end up with more roasted tomatoes and compound butter than you'll need for the oysters. Use the extra on pasta salad, tucked into sandwiches and on grilled steaks, chicken or fish.
To roast tomatoes: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Toss tomatoes in a bowl with thyme, oil and sea salt. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet, cut-side down. Roast for 1 1/2 hours. Turn each tomato cut-side up, top with garlic and roast until the tomatoes are slightly shriveled and browned at the edges, 30 to 45 minutes more. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the tomato skins.
To prepare tomato butter: Combine 1/4 cup of the roasted tomatoes and garlic with port in a mini food processor; pulse until pureed, scraping down the sides as needed. Add butter, basil, vinegar and pepper. Process until well combined. Leave at room temperature if using right away. (Otherwise, refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months. Refrigerate the remaining roasted tomatoes, covered with a layer of olive oil, for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.)
To prepare oysters: Position an oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler; preheat broiler to high.
Spread a layer of rock salt (or a layer of crumpled foil) on a large rimmed baking sheet to keep the oysters level. Shuck oysters, leaving them on the half shell. Nestle the oysters, in their shells, in the salt (or foil). Top each oyster with 1/2 teaspoon of the tomato butter. Broil, watching closely, until the butter is bubbling and the edges of the oysters begin to curl, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the oysters.
To make ahead: Refrigerate roasted tomatoes (Steps 1-2) or tomato butter (Steps 1-3) for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.
Equipment: Parchment paper, mini food processor
1/2 lean meat, 1/2 fat