This recipe is the perfect use for prolific producing cherry and grape tomato plants in the summer, or if you have an extra basket of cherry tomatoes lying around. Let this simple recipe inspire you to create other dishes like bruschetta, homemade pizza, pasta and salads. Drying time takes anywhere from 3-5 hours, depending on your oven, so plan accordingly.
1 1/2 pounds of organic cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons of fresh Italian herbs such as, Italian parsley, basil, marjoram or oregano, chopped
6-8 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 250°
Slice tomatoes in half length wise. Place tomatoes in a medium bowl and liberally salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until golden brown about 2 minutes. Add chopped fresh herbs to oil and remove from heat. Toss tomatoes with garlic and herb oil. Add red pepper flakes if desired and toss again.
Arrange tomatoes cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle any excess oil left in the bowl over the tomatoes and put in oven.
It may take up to 4-5 hours to dry out and intensify the flavors of the tomatoes. Begin tasting tomatoes at about 2 hours for desired flavor. Once the tomatoes have reached the desired flavor, remove them from the oven.
Cook's note: Once you have made this recipe a few times and know how long it takes for your oven to dry the tomatoes, you can dry them out overnight. You will wake up to an amazing fresh herb, tomato fragrance in the morning.
As always, use as many organic ingredients you can find for optimum flavor and health benefits.
Image: John Klein