The Oven-Dried Tomato Experience

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So, this is the real thing. Plump, juicy and verrry ripe, these tomatoes just got me grabbing my apron for some soiree with my fresh batch of  these fresh and dewy tomatoes. Yes, I’m a kitchen mad scientist again and will train the spotlight, this time, on these picture-perfect cancer-fighting ingredient.
fresh ripe tomatoes for the caldereta base
It was once believed that this fruit was dangerous to be eaten as it was called “lycopersicon” in Latin that meant “wolf peach”. Obviously, people have already gunned down that belief. Why, it’s been the rockstar of most major cuisines all over the globe for many, many years now!

pre-baking of the tomatoes

I use this as base for a great number of my pasta dishes. The flavors just well embrace the pasta when it’s mixed together. Like lovers of fifty years, they just jive in perfect harmony. Yep, it’s the perfect marriage, hands down.

They can go well with other ingredients like pesto, tuna, cheese, chicken or in soups and stews. Given this flexibility, it is wise to jar them up in an air-tight container and put in ref. Life span can reach up to a week in the ref depending on how perfectly sealed your container is. Freezing is a method you may use, too, as it can preserve these oven-dried tomatoes for up to three months.

Now, what to do:

Pick about a dozen plump and ripe tomatoes. Boil them in water until their skin burst. Drain from water and set aside. Remove skin. Let it cool.

Meantime, preheat oven at 120C. In a baking pan, lay down your tomatoes for the prep phase. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped herbs of your choice (my faves include rosemary, sweet basil, tarragon and oregano thyme). One or two varieties of herbs will do, no biggy. Throw in 6 cloves of chopped garlic. Drizzle generously with olive oil and a quick swig of balsamic vinegar (optional). Bake until the tomatoes begin to shrivel, about an hour. Remove from the oven and drizzle some more with olive oil. Seal well.

 Ahh, this can’t be real!

oven-dried tomatoes

Dishes that go well with this coming soon. Promise!

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