Im slowly deciding item by item which are the absolute pantry must haves, the items you ensure you keep replenished each time you go to the supermarket, semi dried tomatos is one of many. However I have decided that this is an item which I should be able to produce and keep on hand myself, of course I don’t have a garden so I have to rely on the markets for the ingredients but I can get the satisfaction out of producing the end product.
Now, semi dried tomatos have many a role is numerous dishes so your options for use are wide, and I love that after you have finished all the tasty tomatos you are left with a very fragrant and terribly tasty oil to cook with, two for one, bonus !
Fills a 385ml Preserving Jar
– Preserving Jar
-about 400-450g sweet tomatos
-2 cloves garlic
-about 10 leaves of basil
-salt and pepper
Start by preheating your oven to 70 degrees celcius. Quarter the tomatos and and remove the seeds and juice, keep the seeds and juice aside to use for something else to avoid waste. Place the tomato quarters on 2 oven trays flesh side up. Season with the salt and pepper and sprinkle the rosemary, thyme and dried basil over each piece.
Transfer the trays to the oven and leave for 3.5 hours. Depending on how large and fleshy your tomatos are will depend on the time they need to dry, but once they look shriveled and dried on the outside but still soft and tender to touch, they are ready.
Now your ready for the fun bit. Jarring it all up.
Firstly and most importantly you need to ensure your jar is sterilised. I boil mine for 10-15 mins. Then fill while still hot, close the lid tightly and thus creating a little vacume in the jar as it cools. Remember to always wash the jar and lid in soapy water before boiling, careful of burning your fingers too, I’m particualy good at burning myself.
Start by roughly chopping the garlic cloves, tear your basil leaves and have the olive oil ready to hand. Layer the tomatos first, then some garlic and then basil, now the tomatos again, then garlic, then basil and so forth. Finish by filling the jar with oil, leaving about 1cm at the top. Screw the lid on tightly and place in the back of your pantry to let all the goodness infuse the oil. I’m leaving mine for about a month and then I will delight in many tomato indulged recipes.