I can’t imagine a better gift than a box full of vine ripened tomatoes and that is exactly what we were presented with the other day. It was an unexpected gift from our farm-owning friends, and what a gift! Although not attractive enough to make it to market due to skin blemishes, these tomatoes were still perfectly good for eating and ripened to perfection.
In my opinion, nothing is better than a fresh home-grown tomato and these tomatoes are bursting with bright flavor. But what to do with these reverent little tomatoes? There must be 40+ tomatoes and I refuse to let them go to waste. After searching online it seems that oven-roasting them would be best. By roasting the tomatoes at a low temperature for 3-4 hours, I not only preserve but also enhance their flavor. The end result would be the equivalent of sun-dried tomatoes that are quite pricy when bought in stores. And, oh, the flavor! You can eat them like candy with their sweet and tart essence.
And as for cooking, these “sun-dried” tomatoes can be added to soups or sauces, chopped up and sprinkled on salads, or soaked in good olive oil and topped on toasted baguettes with cheese. They would also be perfectly at home on a charcuterie board or antipasto platter.
Oh, tomato, is there anything you can’t do?
OVEN-DRIED TOMATOES, PROCEDURE:
Preheat your oven to 250 F and line your baking sheets with foil.
Wash and dry your tomatoes. Half and core your tomatoes.
Place on lined baking sheet and coat with good olive oil.
Face the tomatoes cut side up and then sprinkle liberally with kosher salt.
Bake/roast for 3-4 hours until tomatoes are slightly dried but still juicy. In the beginning of the roasting process the tomatoes will leach a lot of liquid, but will eventually evaporate.
Let cool, then place in a jar, cover with olive oil, and place in the fridge. This can be stored for up to two months in the fridge. Or, place tomatoes in a freezer safe bag or container and place in the freezer (without olive oil).