Growing tomatoes is something anyone can do whatever the size of their gardens. Two tomato plants in a couple of pots will yield enough harvest to make several jars of chutney and adorn a salad or two. As I am, unlike my husband, not a big fan of chutney, this year I decided to oven dry some of the tomato harvest. Unfortunately given the unpredictable weather in England, sun drying is not always an option. Oven drying however is a good alternative and easy enough that very little skill or effort is require, except perhaps a good memory. When choosing the variety of tomatoes to grow, go for the very sweet variety for oven drying purposes, as the sweetness is intensified by this method of preserving and makes for better eating pleasure.
You will need:
A good amount of ripe tomatoes, sliced quite thinly.
Good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
That’s all. This method of preserving relies solely on the flavour of the tomatoes.
Place the slice tomatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet, sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven at the lowest temperature possible and leave for about 10 hours. The tricky part is not forgetting about them completely, as you may find that they are dried beyond the point of redemption. Once they are dried but still with a tiny bit of moisture and flexibility, put them in a clean sterilised jar and at this point you can add fresh torn basil. Pack them in tightly and cover with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Seal and label and store in a dark cupboard for a few months to let the flavours infuse before use.