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Oven 'sun-dried' tomatoes

Recipes By Chef Ali Mandhry

Let’s preserve some tomatoes that you might have in stock and extend their shelf life by drying them in your oven.

Ordinarily, sun-dried tomatoes are pre-treated with salt before being placed in the sun for 4–10 days. The tomatoes keep their nutrients, which include lycopene, antioxidants and Vitamin C.

Since not everyone has access to an area where they can safely sun-dry their tomatoes, we thought of drying them in the oven. The low-temperature roasting intensifies the flavour and preserves them for later use.

Serve them on their own or in a salad sprinkled with salt, in a pasta dish, or anywhere a recipe calls for an intense tomato flavour.

What you will need:

1/2 kg tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 95°C.

Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Use a teaspoon or the tip of a dinner knife to remove the seeds and any juice from the tomatoes.

Put the tomato pieces on a baking tray and drizzle the olive oil on them. Arrange them well, leaving at least an inch of space all around each piece. Sprinkle some salt and massage gently to distribute it evenly.

Set the tray on the centre rack in the oven; check the tomatoes every half hour and pull them out when their edges curl up and they reduce in size by about a third (after approximately 2 to 3 hours depending on the ambient humidity and the juiciness of the tomatoes).

Leave them to cool at this plump-dry stage. Once cool, they are ready to preserve in a jar with some extra olive oil. They will keep for months and are a great additional to a variety of dishes and salads.

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