Until now I’ve had sun dried tomatoes from a jar and only after making these cute little babies did I realize what I’d been missing out on – über concentration of flavour. They are the same as sun-dried tomatoes, except that it doesn’t sound as fancy and the job gets done a lot quicker!
While I was at the market last week, I was introduced to these seasonal tomatoes that appear for just two months in a year, so I bought myself a kilo of them. The seller extolled their flavour and when I sat to think of how to use these best, I was sure I didn’t want these tomatoes to get lost as a part of a greater dish, but be the main focus. That’s when I thought of drying them up in the oven to concentrate their flavour.
I can say for certain that this has got to be the best thing best savory thing I’ve put in my mouth in a while (the fig tart and honey roasted almonds are so good, people!). The flavour of the tomatoes is heightened by chopped garlic and oregano – something you will never find in the regular bottled sundried tomatoes. I thought I’d use them to top a pizza or something, but man these were just brilliant on their own. I snacked on so many last night that these were all that were left to take photos this morning (and you thought I was trying to be aesthetic!) Next time, I’m surely going to double the quantity I make because they shrink so much (not that I didn’t know, but so much?) I think this would make an excellent appetizer tossed with crumbled feta or fresh mozzarella.
Oven dried tomatoes
2.2 lb/ 1 kilo ripe tomatoes
coarse sea salt
6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 tbsp dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to the lowest heat setting.
- Depending on how big you’d like them, either slice the tomatoes, or halve them (the bigger they are, the longer they will take to dry up). Scoop out most of the seeds and sprinkle with salt and leave them skin side up so that the excess liquid from the tomatoes can drain out. Let this sit for about 15-20 minutes. Excellent thing to do because, this gets rid of the moisture and reduces the time in the oven.
- In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes with the garlic, oregano, black pepper and olive oil. Place the tomatoes on a cookie sheet lines with parchment and place sprinkle the garlic from the bowl on the tomatoes. Cook in a low oven at 100C/200F/Gas 1 for three hours.
- If you’d really like to do it the sun-dried way then you can leave it in the sun for up to two days, taking them in at night.
- Place the tomatoes in a sterilized glass jar and use within a week. If you’re going to use this over a longer period of time, then cover it with some olive oil.