Mix together the vinegar, oil, sugar and herbs in a bowl and lightly season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Allow to infuse at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to the lowest possible setting. Score the tomatoes and blanche in boiling water for 15 seconds or until the skins start to come away. Refresh in iced water. Peel the tomatoes, cut in half lengthways and remove the seeds using a teaspoon. Place the tomatoes in the marinade for 30 minutes, then remove and drain on a wire rack. Place the rack onto a tray and then into the oven for 2½–3 hours. The tomatoes will have shrunk in size and become more intense in flavour but should still be moist. It is important that the tomatoes are dried at a low temperature. If too hot, they will become overly dry, discolour and lose flavour. If not using immediately, cover the tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil and refrigerate. Add a crushed clove of garlic and a few sprigs of basil until ready to use.
© 2005 Liam Tomlin. All rights reserved.