Tomatoes! Everyone loves them, and I honestly cannot believe the people who don’t, because they’re seriously missing out! You can use them for so many dishes and in so many ways – as paste, canned or fresh. There are at least a million varieties out there. Okay, there are about 2500 registered sorts and a few that aren’t, but imagine tasting them all. There are stake tomatoes, grape tomatoes, beef tomatoes, egg tomatoes, cherry tomatoes…and all in different colours and patterns. I have once seen an episode of Jamie Oliver where he made a tomato salad. That salad wasn’t just boringly red, it was so colourful! And he only used tomatoes…
The Dried Tomato: 100% Flavour
If you want to take it a step further and get the full tomato flavour, dried tomatoes are the best option. They always taste like summer to me, and remind me of all those beautiful vacations in Italy. People usually pick them by hand, halve them, salt them and let them dry slowly in the sun. Most of the time you’ll find them in a glass, soused with oil and some herbs. This comes at a price! I always shudder when I see what supermarkets demand for a single glass with only 50% tomatoes in it. So my suggestion is to save costs and simply souse them yourself, this way you can select the oil and the herbs as well. What do you think?
- 200 g dried tomatoes
- 250 ml oil (olive oil or sunflower oil)
- Dried of fresh herbs (I used dried rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano)
- 1 bulb of garlic
- Sea salt
- Large preserving jar
Bring water to boil in an appropriately sized pot. Add the dried tomatoes and remove the pot from the heat. Now the tomatoes have to soak in the water for one hour to get soft and to remove the salt.
Take the tomatoes out of the water and thoroughly dry them with paper towels. In the meantime, remove the excess skin from the bulb of garlic and separate the cloves. With the side of a knife, press each bulb onto your cutting board so it will open up. This way it’ll release its flavour better.
Fill your preserving jar with boiling water, close the lid and wait for several minutes. This way you remove the germs. Drain the water and dry off the jar.
Time to fill it! Start with a layer of tomatoes until you have covered the bottom of the jar. Now add two or three cloves of garlic, a pinch of salt and some herbs. On top of that, put another layer of tomatoes and so on.
When the jar is full and you’re out of filling, just fill up the jar with oil until everything is covered. Make sure that everything is covered to preserve it! Now you just have to let the tomatoes marinate for about a week and they’re ready to enjoy.
Of course I could go even a step further and dry them myself! Maybe next time I will. I think this is a pretty easy way to save costs and have a dried tomato stock for at least half a year! If I don’t use them all for pasta, salads, antipasti…yum! By the way, they work really great with the marinated feta I did last year. Maybe I’ll see about building a whole antipasti platter (like this one) myself, stuffing olives and peppers, making bred. That’s not a bad idea, heh?