Wednesday, 19 September 2012
oven dried tomatoes
I was given a copy of Eden cookbook a few years ago and it has been a favorite of mine ever since. It is my go to reference book for quantities and measurements for larder staples and sauces, onion marmalade, pickled cucumber, those sorts of little things that make something ordinary into something special.
Oven-dried tomatoes is one of the things I make regularly from the book - this method makes bad tomatoes good and good tomatoes great. Now is the time of year that the bulk of tomatoes ripen in the green houses and poly tunnels with a little bit of September sunshine.
Eat these immediately adding them to salads and sandwiches. I prefer to keep them in the fridge for a week or two in an airtight jar covered in a good olive oil and put them on pizza or into a pasta sauce for a burst of deep tomato flavor. Use the oil you kept them in for salad dressings, it is too delicious to waste. Or, as soon as they are cool, freeze on a sheet and then transfer to a zipped freezer bag where they will last for months. A little taste of summer to lift your spirits in the depths of winter.
Oven dried tomatos
Adapted from Eden Cookbook
20g sea salt
8 plum/24 cherry tomatoes halved or quartered depending on size
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots peeled or finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced
1 sprig rosemary roughly chopped
1 sprig thyme roughly chopped
10g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 100C/200F - the bottom oven of an Aga is also perfect.
Sprinkle salt on the baking tray (non-metallic) place the tomatoes on the salt skin side down. Mix all the other ingredients together and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Place in the oven and dry until juices have stopped running, edges are shriveled, and pieces have shrunken slightly. Timing will vary depending on the variety, ripeness. Up to 6 hours for a plum is usual, about 2 - 3 hours less for a cherry variety.