Slow-roasted tomatoes are about the closest I’m ever going to get to sun-dried. The ones available here are mass produced and to be honest, aren’t that appealing. According to TLC, the practice of drying tomatoes for use throughout the winter began in Italy, where tomatoes were placed on the tile roofs of houses until the sun baked out almost all of their moisture. This process intensifies the tomato’s natural flavor and preserves its inherent nutritional value; a rich source of lycopene and vitamin C.
I find the best tomatoes to use are the little ones…cherry or grape. You can use campari tomatoes but you’ll need to either quarter or thickly slice them. Slow-roasted tomatoes are fine dinner companions tossed in salads, pasta, on grilled bread with cheese, spaghetti squash, orzo, puréed into a dressing, couscous and so on.
cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half horizontally
dried oregano or thyme
1. Preheat oven to 230f (110c).
2. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle sugar, salt and thyme lightly over the tomatoes (the pinch method works best).
3. Roast in the oven 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Use immediately or store in the fridge in a mason jar covered with olive oil.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Deliciously sweet! For enhanced flavor, add a sprig of rosemary and peeled garlic cloves to the mason jar. Enjoy!