Sun-dried tomatoes are a delightful addition to pasta dishes, served on bruschetta, used to make a sauce for roast cod or hake or served as part of an Italian meat plate. All you need are ripe, juicy red tomatoes, some good olive oil, salt, garlic and an oven.
This recipe halves or doubles easily.
Choose rich red ripe tomatoes for this recipe. The better the quality of tomato, the better the finished product. The reason you use this method is to preserve tomatoes that are at their peak so you can eat them for weeks afterwards. It is a good recipe for when tomatoes are cheap or when you have a glut from your garden.
Sun-dried Tomato Recipe
1000g tomatoes (preferably San Marzano or Roma) and all the tomatoes should be the same size.
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (garlic)
1. Preheat the oven to 130ºC/250ºF/Gas Mark 1/2.
2. Cut the tomatoes in half, toss in half the olive oil and all the salt and lay them out on two roasting trays. Bake for 6-8 hours, exchanging the trays half way cooking so the bottom tray is on top and vice-versa. Leave the door of the oven slightly open for the last 2 hours of cooking. The longer you leave them, the more dehydrated they will become. It’s your choice whether you want them moister or drier (semi-sundried or fully sundried). Put the warm tomatoes in a large bowl, add the rest of the olive oil and the garlic and stir, adding more oil if necessary. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to mellow for a day before eating. They keep for a few weeks well covered in the fridge. You can also store them in sterilized sealed jars in the fridge for a few months.
Sundried Tomato Tip:
The tomatoes need to be all the same size or some will be finished before the others. If you can’t get them all the same size, watch them and remove the smaller ones earlier when they are done.
Sundried Tomato Recipes
– Chop some of the sundried tomatoes finely, add some olive oil or scoop some out of the bowl or jar and fry until they are reduced into a sauce, then toss with hot pasta and chopped basil or parsley. You need to chop the sun-dried tomatoes finely and add more salt if it needs it. The tomatoes should cling to the pasta.
– Goat’s cheese or a soft cream cheese spread on bruschetta topped with finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes makes a lovely snack with a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio.m Garnish with a sprig of flat-leaf parsley. Or make little tart cases and fill with the cheese and tomatoes. Or add them to a salad with crumbly cheddar and rocket.
– Blend some of your home-made sun-dried tomatoes with red chilli, olive oil and lightly toasted cumin seeds and serve drizzled on roast white fish such as plaice, cod or hake.