Oven-dried sungolds ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

09 November 2011

Oven-dried sungolds

sungold tomatoesI've been meaning to make these dried sungolds in olive oil for a very long time. This year, with the onslaught of tomatoes bursting out of our backyard, I gave them a try.

First, I went out to the garden and picked all the ripe tomatoes I could find. (I also picked up one big green purple cherokee that I accidentally knocked off its vine. It has since turned mostly red in the sun on the kitchen windowsill.) Yes, the tomatoes are still alive. Yes, they are still slowly ripening, even though it has finally gotten at least a little chilly. No, it was not difficult at all to find this many.

sungold tomatoesIt only took me about ten minutes to wash the sungolds, cut them in half, and arrange them cut side up on a cookie sheet. I had just enough to cover the entire sheet.

Then I turned the oven to 200F, deposited the cookie sheet inside, stuck a wooden spoon in the door to allow for air circulation, and went about my business for several hours.

When the tomatoes were shriveled but still chewy, I took them out of the oven and packed them into a jar with chopped basil and minced garlic. If you don't happen to have any fresh herbs, or you want plain oven-dried tomato goodness, I'm sure you could just put them in the jar alone. I covered the entire shebang with olive oil, let it cool on the counter, and stuck it in the fridge. Voila!

oven-dried sungold tomatoes in olive oilSince I'm keeping my jar in the fridge, the olive oil gradually turned cloudy and coagulated. This is fine. I plan to just leave my jar out on the counter for an hour or so to warm up before using the tomatoes in any sort of uncooked context.

I have not yet actually eaten any of these! Maybe I should bust them out for lunch today, in a sandwich with some cream cheese and spinach. Or maybe I should make some pasta and throw a big spoonful in at the last minute. Or I could drain off the oil, chop the tomatoes, and knead them into pizza dough...HMMM.


Laura Nelkin said...

Oh my, I am jealous... all our sun gold's are long dead and I would KILL for another jar of these : )! Enjoy!!!!

Eileen said...

I'm happy to report that I did indeed enjoy some in a pan of scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms this morning. Thanks for the inspiration!