Is your garden overflowing with tomatoes? I always grow too many and one of my favorite ways to make them go a little farther is to oven dry them. Much like sun dried, these concentrated gems pack a powerful punch and can be used in any dish where you’d use tomatoes. Especially nice on a cheese plate with some creamy goat cheese nearby.
To preserve them I turn them into a tomato confit and keep in my ‘pantry’ refrigerator. They can’t be water bath canned because of the oil, but they will keep for about 6 months in the refrigerator, if they last that long. The refrigeration will also help to preserve the oil and keep it from going rancid quicker. Use only fresh organic herbs and make sure you wash and dry them very well, you don’t want any water going into your beautiful confit.
- 1 pound tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil, approximately
- 1 tablespoon basil, chiffonade
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 clove garlic -- minced
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Arrange the tomato halves cut side up and close together on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Drizzle over tomatoes and bake until the tomatoes are soft and shriveled but still retain some moisture, 1-2 hours or more.
Let cool completely. Tomatoes can be stored in a glass jar, cover tomatoes with olive oil, add a fresh sprig of thyme, seal and refrigerate.
Photo: Chez Pim