Dried tomatoes nowadays are sold everywhere. The hard dried ones are not really loved by us, we prefer the softer ones, the ones in oil. Now you can find ripe tomatoes on the market and so you should do what squirrels do, store them, by canning, preserving, cooking them. You will be thankful for them in winter!
The tomatoes used to be called Love apples or Gold Apples, that's why the Italians call them Pomodoro. Only in the 19th Century the name was changed to tomato. This name comes from the Aztecan word Xitomatl, South America, the birthplace of the tomato. There it was cultivated already 200 years b.Ch.
I only dried mine half way through, so to preserve the wonderful sweetish taste of the tomato. They are wonderful with bread, cold meats, cheese or even on the pizza. And it's really easy!
Step 1: Drying the Tomatoes
For a Jar of 500 ml compacity:
1.2 kg Tomatoes
4 cloves of Garlic
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp dried Basil
1/4 tsp dried Thyme
2-3 twigs fresh Rosemary
250 ml White Wine
130 ml white Vinegar (or White Wine Vinegar)
1.3 L Water
approx 300 ml Olive Oil
Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds. Set them with the skin down onto a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Dry in the preheated oven at 90 C for approx 6 hours. Tuck a wooden spoon into the door, so the oven will not close completely.
The tomatoes should still be slightly soft. If you like them hard you have to bake-dry them at least another 2-3 hours.
Step 2: Cooking Them..
Heat up the water with the vinegar and white wine. Cut the garlic into slices and add them. Then add the tomatoes and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Take from the heat and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain them and then put them onto kitchen paper and dab them dry.
Step 3: Fill Them Into Olive Oil
Now put the tomatoes together with the garlic, the dried herbs and the fresh rosemary into the jar and fill up with olive oil until all tomatoes are covered.
Close the jar tightly and let sit for 2-3 days.
Step 4: Enjoy!
The tomatoes are perfect with crisp bread, to cold meat platters, to cheese, or even on pizzas.
If kept in the fridge, the tomatoes can be stored up to 3 month!