May We Recommend: Oven-Dried Tomatoes
Oven-Dried Tomatoes (Melanie Young)
Fresh tomato season may be ending but there are cooking techniques to coax out the sweet flavors from what’s is left in the bins. One simple way is to slow-roast. Depending on the length of time spent in the oven, slow-roasted tomatoes can range from soft and juicy to chewy like a sun-dried version. Since I find that many packages of sun-dried tomatoes have preservatives, I prefer making my own. I bought a box of plum tomatoes at my local farm stand and started experimenting. Fresh plum tomatoes become sweeter when drizzled with olive oil and herbs de Provence and slow cooked at a low temperature in the oven. The sweet tomato aroma coming from the oven fills you with anticipation.
I prefer plum or Roma tomatoes for their firm flesh and low water content. Slice tomatoes into one-third to one-half inch disks (not too thin since they shrink) and place side-by-side on a large baking pan, ideally with a lip to catch any oil drippings. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and your choice of dried herbs. Cook in a 250-degree oven for two hours or until you achieve the desired texture without charring the edges. Stick with “low and slow” for best results; I tried this recipe at 300 degrees for less time and burned the tomatoes.
Enjoy as a sweet tomato snack or use as a pizza topping, in pasta, or in chicken dishes. You can store them in a sealed contain lined with brown paper for a few days, but they will probably go fast!