Home-dried tomatoes are fabulous in salads, as a relish with cold meats or cheese, or on pizzas or open tarts.
To home-dry tomatoes, first preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas2. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out their pulp and seeds. Sit them, cut side up, on baking trays, sprinkle with a little salt and caster sugar, then drizzle with olive oil and roast until most of the moisture has evaporated from them. Depending on how many you are drying at a time, this can take anything from an hour upwards. All domestic ovens have hot spots, so reposition the tomatoes from time to time to avoid burning any of them. Remove from the oven and, when cool, pack tightly in jars and cover with olive oil.
For both the home-dried tomatoes and the Roast Tomato Sauce below, if you ensure your jars and lids are sterile and that the contents are not exposed to air, the contents should keep for months - only they won’t, because they never get the chance to enjoy such longevity.
© 1995 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.