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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oven Preserved Tomatoes

I like tomatoes on my sandwiches. Tomatoes can be rather messy on sandwiches and seriously comprise the integrity of the bread. They squirt out the side and you end up with tomato seeds on your shirt.

Recently, I had a glut of grape tomatoes. I knew they wouldn't keep for very long. I could dry them, but dried tomatoes don't work very well on sandwiches. I also find that their flavor is just too concentrated for tossing in a salad or on a sandwich. This method, which is too simple to be called a recipe, is the best way I've found of preserving smaller tomatoes. Anything from grape on up to Roma size works well. The flavor of the tomato gets concentrated into sweet goodness and they are delicious on sandwiches.

Originally a recipe from Claudia Roden's book on new Middle Eastern cuisine, I have reduced the sugar. Her recipe is a form of tomato jam but I wanted something more savory. The reduction in sugar means that the tomatoes won't keep as well, but I'm sure you'll find a way to use them up. They taste great on sandwiches and you won't end up with tomato seeds on your shirt.

Oven Preserved Tomatoes

Wash 2 lbs. of tomatoes.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Halve grape or Roma tomatoes and place cut side up on a rimmed and oiled baking sheet.

Sprinkle tomatoes lightly with kosher salt, about 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place in the oven and bake for 3-4 hours. The tomatoes will still be squishy and not thoroughly dried. Store them in the refrigerator.