Oven-dried Tomatoes

oven dried tomatoesI am a lover of tomatoes, in all forms, but I must admit I prefer them cooked.  And yes, I was one of those people who had sun-dried tomatoes with/on everything a few years ago.  I’ve been having a play with a few suggested recipes for a sort of DIY version and wanted to share.  There’s not a great deal of skill or cooking involved (perfect for me then!) and it is the sort of thing you have to fine-tune according to your own tastes and oven.  My oven is a fiery little beggar and cooks like a demon in the blazes of hell.  Yours might be somewhat more tempered or, if you are very lucky, you might have an Aga.  Something I fear will still be on my wish list when I hit 80.

Anyway, I made oven-dried tomatoes which, after many hours, delivered scrummy, squishy but still firm, tasty little scarlet morsels for me to throw into a salad with a carefree nonchalance that did not belie my impatient waiting for about 12 hours for them to be ready.

I used vine tomatoes, because I think they are more flavoursome.  I simply halved them and laid them in an oven-proof dish, flat side up. Then I sprinkled them with 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp salt.  Over this I had strewn about 1 tbsp dried oregano (but I might try fresh thyme next) and then drizzled them with about 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.

Having heated the oven to about 200ºC I popped them in and after 10 minutes turned the oven off BUT did not open the door until the next morning.  No, not even for a little peep.

Hey presto! Next morning I had my very own orbs of oily beauty to add to salad, pizza or just scoff as they are.  I added them to some salad leaves and chunks of torn mozzarella.  Then I add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to the leftover oil in the dish they cooked in and dribbled that over the salad.  We ate it with my homemade pizza until our bellies were about twice the size they should be!

oven dried tomato mozzarella salad

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