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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Sun / Oven Dried Tomatoes

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The one thing i love about the warm climate of the mediterranean region is it produces some wonderful fruit due to the abundance of sun. A pinnacle of which - the sun dried tomato is a staple of alot of meditteranean cuisine in a variety of dishes inclusive of tapas, antipasti etc.

In Britain alas we are not so fortunate. That said there's no means to say we cannot use conventional cooking methods to produce something similar that will satisfy your need for sun dried tomatoes. This simple recipe will produce some good results which you will enjoy time and time again.

These also make great gifts, when presented nicely, so can be made up n advance and passed on to loved ones at a later date.

You will need (makes roughly 36):

18 ripe plum tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes for even sweeter)
sea salt
6 cloves garlic sliced thinly
8 tbsp chopped oregano
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
4 rosemary sprigs
balsamic vinegar

The doing bit:

Preheat oven to 100C (or as low to it as you can get. Even lower than this is better but will take longer). Slice the tomatoes in half and scoop out most of the seeds. Place cavity side down on some kitchen paper for about half an hour.

Place the tomatoes cavity side up on a wire rack, on a roasting tray sprinkle with sea salt and add a slice of garlic to each tomato along with a liberal sprinkling of the oregano and a blade or two of rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil, and add a few drops of balsamic vinegar to each tomato half. Place in oven for about 3-4 hours, or leave out in the sun for several days if possible.

Storage: Place under olive oil in a sealed jar until use. Use in any recipe that requires them.