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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: Oven-dried tomatoes

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oven-dried tomatoes

I love tomatoes, let's just get that out there.  I love them with just about anything.  In that respect, they're right up there with mushrooms.

Sometimes, though, they need a little...something.  Something to push them over the edge.  This could be because they're a little too tart, acidic or just bland from it being winter and all.

What to do?

I found the perfect answer to my dilemma while reading Nigella Lawson's Nigella Express.  In it she details a recipe for what she refers to as "Moonblush Tomatoes".  I took her recipe and tweaked it ever so slightly.  Why moonblush? Because they're left in the oven overnight.  Let me explain...

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Take a pint (or more, if you're so inclined) of grape tomatoes and cut them in half crosswise (I once tried doing it lengthwise but it didn't work nearly as well).  Then try your darndest to get the little buggers to sit cut-side up in a pyrex pan (that's why I cut them crosswise the one time, because I couldn't get them to stand up - but it gets easier the more you put in, they all kind of help each other).

Seriously, what was with my shadowiness that day?? And did you really need to see my crappy looking kitchen floor?

Once all your little guys are facing up, drizzle some olive oil on top of them.  Gosh, I just love the smell of olive oil.

Yummy olive oil bath

Sprinkle on some salt.

Nigella calls for oregano but I'm not a huge fan of it.  I used dried basil instead.  Basil being one of my major food groups and all.

And you're done your prep work! All that's left is popping your pan into the oven and then immediately turning the oven off.  Immediately.  Off.

I normally do all of this pretty close to bedtime so at this point I go to bed.  But if you're not me and you're doing this in the morning or afternoon, do whatever it is you do with your morning or afternoon.  I just happen to enjoy sticking by the idea of them being "moonblush". 

In reality I'm sure the oven loses heat in less time than the usual overnight slumber so within several hours, you will come out with...THIS:

Yes, with enough practice, you too can take a poorly lit picture!

See how they're all kinda withered looking now? Their lovely flavor is condensed and strengthened, and the oil and salt and basil (or whatever you use) imparts such gorgeous tastiness.  I just love these and eat them all the time.  I serve them up with my scrambled eggs, salads, pasta, couscous...or just by themselves.  They're delicious and healthy.

Which is so unlike me.



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