I was not ready for how amazing these tomatoes would be. I’m not a great fan of sun dried tomatoes, finding them really bitter and kinda on the wrong side of chewy. I thought I’d give these a go as an alternative, made a whole jar full and promptly finished them within the week, having some every single day on sandwiches, in a paella and through a pasta bake. I didn’t even come close to all the possible ways to use these up, either, so I’ll have to make them again. And again. And again… I’m trying to grow tomatoes at the minute (though I fear I may just have killed them off by trying to put them into an upside down planter) and I imagine that home grown tomatoes would add a whole other leve to an already awesome ingredient.
It’s not really a recipe, this, so much as a technique. You start by heating the oven to about 100C – a very low heat, for drying and not roasting. Then you get together about 500g of mixed tomatoes – depending on the size, this amount should fit on one baking sheet. I used cherry tomatoes, baby plum tomatoes and Jubilee vine tomatoes – pick whichever ones look and smell the ripest. Go ahead and smell the packets if you’re in the supermarket. They like that.
Thickly slice the bigger tomatoes and half any little ones. Drizzle them with olive oil, then sprinkle with a teaspoon of sea salt and a teaspoon of sugar.
Get your hands in amongst it and mix the tomatoes so they’re all coated in the oil, salt and sugar. Heat the oven to 100C and put the tomatoes in for an hour and a half to two hours, until they look like this:
A little charred round the edges, pleasantly smushy and smelling like a lycopenium daydream. Let them cool, then store in a clean jar, topped up and covered with olive oil. When you want to use them, lift them out and drain before popping them in whatever you’re having – they’re a great alternative to ketchup on hot dogs or relish on cold meats. They’d also be great through a cracker or bread dough. Lots of uses. As a bonus, you get some tomatoey olive oil into the bargain. It’s a win-win situation.