For the Antipasto Platter: Oven-Dried Tomatoes

September 10, 2010

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

After many battles with my tomato plants, over the past weekend I finally yielded enough tomatoes to make something beyond an individual caprese salad. I decided to flip through one of my favorite cookbooks, the Food of Italy, to find inspiration on how to handle the 3 pounds of roma tomatoes I had on hand.

While many of the tomatoes will be destined for pizza sauce, I decided to take 20 of them and make oven-dried tomatoes, which was really easy. First, you sliced the tomatoes almost in half, leaving one edge barely intact by the skin. Then you removed the core and most of the goop. Place these on a rack, on a baking sheet, add a little salt, and bake for 8 to 10 hours at 170 degrees. This gets the tomatoes dried out, but not totally crisped. Note – this is also a good way to make beef jerky.

Once the tomatoes were dry, I brushed them with a bit of garlic olive oil (4 cloves of garlic, crushed and covered with about a 1/4 cup of oil), added a leaf of basil and a slice of roasted red pepper in the middle of the tomato, sprinkled with oregano (you can use fresh or dry) and folded it in half. To the jars (this filled 2 half pints) I added one of the crushed garlic cloves and a sprig of fresh oregano, then I layered the stuffed tomatoes in the jar, topped with what was left of the garlic olive oil, and then finished it off with regular olive oil. Once the lids were on, I placed the jars in the refrigerator. These are supposed to last up to 2 months, but if I can wait 2 weeks for the flavors to meld, I doubt the jars will last much beyond that!

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