Thursday, 3 October 2013

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

A fruit masquerading as a vegetable. There is something magical about tomatoes. Don't laugh. There is. What other food stuff is so universally loved? If not in it's raw form, it's loved as ketchup, or in a bolognese or even juiced and mixed with vodka to cure a hangover.

A large portion of my weekly shopping budget is taken up with tomatoes. Lots of tasty cherry tomatoes, chopped tomatoes for sauce, Tiptree ketchup for dipping, big tomatoes for slicing in sandwiches, salsa for dunking... the list is almost endless. As much as I love autumn and winter, it always depresses me the way that fresh tomatoes are replaced with tasteless, watery, high-airmile little red bobbles.

The obvious solution to this are sundried tomatoes, but I have yet to find an affordable brand that don't have a horrible metallic aftertaste or aren't drenched in cheap, tasteless oil.

On a surprise outing to Costco this weekend, when we were stranded in Croydon for an afternoon, I managed to pick up a massive box of cherry tomatoes for a bargaintastic £3.99. There were so many tomatoes that I knew even someone with a hardcore tomato habit like myself would never get through them all before they went mouldy so I decided to have a bash at making my own slow roasted tomatoes. They are sensational. Great in salads, in sandwiches, on pasta or just for snacking on their own.

What you will need...
Cherry tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt

How I did it...

1. Heat an oven to between 100-120 degrees C.

2. Slice as many tomatoes in half as you can fit onto a baking tray. Place them skin side down.

3. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with the olive oil.

4. Bake for 2-3 hours in the oven. You want most of the moisture to evaporate but without them turning crispy.

5. Store in a clean jar topped up with olive oil to cover the tomatoes. As you eat the tomatoes the extra oil can be used for salad dressings, cooking or dunking bread.

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