According to all-knowing kitchen goddess and guru Gwynnie P, people should make their own “sun-dried” tomatoes on a Sunday, or a Monday, say, and have a jar of them on hand to perk up meals throughout the week.
Gwyneth’s advice has served me well so far, so who am I to question?
I gave her idea a shot last Thursday as I had three to five hours and a load of tomatoes to play with.
I used my Russian doll 1/4 measuring cup to mix some olive oil and salt and pepper, then poured over the tomatoes. (Re: Russian doll, I always knew she’d be happier when I finally decided to use her for something other than decorating the kitchen shelf.)
Then I popped them in the oven, but… aaargh… for some reason I had a mental block about halving the tomatoes first. And there they were sitting in the middle of the oven on 175c in all their rounded glory. Groan.
So I took them out again and endeavoured to slice them now they were greasy.
It was like herding cats or picking up a fish. Fortunately I had a Global tomato knife to hand, and now I understand why I had to take out a bank loan when I bought it for J for Christmas. ‘Sgood, that knife.
Anyway, that was that. Then you just let the tomatoes gently shrivel for the next three to five hours. Or do them for 45 minutes to an hour if you want roast tomatoes for a funky salad or quinoa dish. They will look like this.
I was doing mine for longer, though, so I went for a run around Ally Pally, safe in the knowledge my work in the kitchen was done. It was nice out there.
At 10 o’clock-ish, about 3 hours after they first went in, I went to fetch my little kids, the tomatoes.
And here they are.
Now, as it was 10 o’clock, I didn’t whip up a sun-dried tomato dish there and then (being so capable and everything), but I did try a few – even though I’d just brushed my teeth – and they were good.
They had that crinkly, jammy taste you get from the deli counter versions. Now, I only had this plastic Russian doll container in which to keep my toms, but ideally you should keep them in an airtight glass jar, with some olive oil to keep them all nice. I will get some soon.
So, tonight, Monday, I think I might make an evening snack version of a breakfast I had at Feast in Muswell Hill recently – and use the extreme-roasted toms.
Going to go for granary bread, or muffin, spread with red pepper humous, a slice of grilled halloumi (instead of poached egg) and top it with a grilled portobello mushroom, rocket, the sundried tomatoes and maybe some pesto oil – which I’ve just Googled a recipe for, and is quite simple to do by the sounds of things.
Extreme-Roasted Tomatoes stats:
Number of kitchen cock-ups: 2, if you include lack of glass jar container
Cooking time: 3 hours
Listened to: Foals, Total Life Forever
Other activities carried out while making Extreme-Roasted Toms: Running, teeth brushing, and making my own basil pesto – which will be coming soon!