oven-dried tomatoes

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oven cured tomatoes-12

OVEN-DRIED TOMATOES
Makes enough for one woman to eat all week

You can hardly call this a recipe, but more like advice from a friend on what to do when there is a glut of tomatoes in September or when you’re longing for that elusive taste of summer during fresh produce desert known as winter. Regardless of purpose, I am totally addicted to these tomatoes. I usually eat these beauties with nice cheese and good bread, preferably standing belly-up to the island in my kitchen. Other favorites are to top softly scrambled eggs with the tomatoes, as they do at Buvette in Greenwich Village, or puree the them as part of a zesty vinaigrette. The tomatoes keep about a week in the refrigerator, if they make it that long and be sure not to waste the oil in which they are stored.

oven cured tomatoes-6

oven cured tomatoes-13

Smallish tomatoes
Garlic (optional)
Herbs (optional)
Olive oil
Salt, preferably sea salt

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. If your oven has convection, now is a good time to use it. Slice the tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on a sheet pan with enough room so they are not touching. If using the garlic, slice very thinly and scatter it on top of the tomatoes. For the herbs, chop them or pull small leaves off the stems and put on top the tomatoes as well, again if you choose to include. Drizzle olive oil over all of the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven and cook until the tomatoes have collapsed and begun to shrivel. For smaller tomatoes, such as grape or cherry, this could be about 2 hours, and longer tomatoes could be up to four. Keep in mind all tomatoes, and ovens, are different so the time is variable. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan. Place the tomatoes into a glass container, being sure to scrape up all the good bits, and cover them with a copious amount of olive oil and more herbs, if so inclined.

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