|mi cuit tomatoes - July 2011|
So what is a girl to do? Mi cuit tomatoes I think (that's partially dried tomatoes to you and me). Essentially they are oven dried, but instead of leaving them for 3 hours which results in a leathery bite of tomato (not necessarily a bad thing), you halve the time in the oven and get a still juicy but intensely tomatoey tomato. Well that's the plan anyway.
These little morsels of intense flavour are great in salads and a good way of adding a little oomph to your sandwich, as a savoury sweetness to stews, especially Spag Bol.
I also make sure that I add them to a jar of olive oil while still hot. It imparts the tomato flavour to the oil and after a few months I use that oil for cooking and make up a new batch of tomatoes with fresh oil.
Skill level: Easy
tomatoes (preferably baby plum)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6.
- Wash the tomatoes and halve. I don't bother to de-seed them as 1) Life is just too short and 2) I quite like the seeds.
- Arrange on a baking sheet and make sure that they are all cut-side up.
- Turn the heat down to 120C / Gas Mark ½ and bake the tomatoes, checking every 30 minutes or so for up to 1½ hours (90 minutes). These will definitely need 1 hour but may need longer.
- Add to a jar of olive oil while still warm to infuse the oil with tomato flavours.
- Make sure that the tomatoes are well covered (at least 1cm) with oil to protect them from bacteria.
- You can store them in the fridge for several weeks but the oil will solidify. So you will need to remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before using, to bring the tomatoes and oil back to room temperature.
- Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and black pepper.
- Sprinkle with dried or fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano or basil.
- Half way through cooking, top with a little crushed garlic.