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How to Make Oven-Dried Tomatoes

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oven-roasted-tomato-garlic

Since these tomatoes are slow cooked at a low temperature for hours, they develop the concentrated flavor of sun-dried but retain the juiciness of the fresh-off-the vine kind. They taste really sweet and add a gourmet touch to any recipe.

Makes 2 ½ cups

Ingredients:

4 pounds tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise, seeds and pulp discarded
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if you are packing
1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
Thyme sprigs, 4 or 5 of them
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 F and position 2 racks just above and just below the middle of the oven.

Pour 1/8 of the olive oil onto each of 2 very sturdy, rimmed baking pans. Arrange the tomatoes cut side down on the baking sheets and scatter the garlic and thyme all around. Make a very small slit on each tomato (see picture below.)

oven-roasted-tomatoes

Bake the tomatoes for about one hour, until the skins begin to wrinkle. Shift the pans from top to bottom halfway through.

Remove from oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Carefully pinch the skins. Flip each tomato and bake until the surface looks dry, about one more hour.

Remove from oven and flip the tomatoes again. Continue baking until the surface look dry but the tomatoes are still slightly plump. To achieve this result you have to constantly check on the tomatoes, because it can take from 20 minutes up to 2 hours depending on the kind of tomatoes you are using.

Remove from oven, season with salt and pepper. Discard the thyme sprigs and peel the garlic cloves. Layer the tomatoes with the garlic in a large jar. Add enough olive oil to cover the tomatoes completely. Seal the jar tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 months. Use them in salads, pastas, sauces, over bread as antipasti, or simply puree for an instant sauce.

Notes:

You can use several kinds of tomatoes for oven roasting. I recommend plum tomatoes, campari, or tomato on the vine.

Since these tomatoes are slow cooked at a low temperature for hours, they develop the concentrated flavor of sun-dried but retain the juiciness of the fresh-off-the vine kind. They taste really sweet and add a gourmet touch to any recipe.

Oven-dried tomatoes make a great, very personal gift. It’s a nice gift idea for Christmas holiday!

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