Sunday, October 16, 2011

Homemade Sundried Tomatoes [Mike]

In South Salem, NY, we had gardens all over the place.

We had a formal garden, a cutting garden, raspberries, a pumpkin patch and a vegetable garden. We even had a perennial garden in the side yard next to the garage. Four-and-a-half acres that used to be a horse pasture, so the earth was super rich. You could throw a seed in the ground and have a tree in two weeks. (Just kidding)

One season our vegetable garden exploded. Plum tomatoes everywhere. We gave them to our neighbors, even brought some to church. They kept coming. That’s when we decided we should do a batch of sundried tomatoes. So we took the tomatoes and quartered them, and placed them on several cooking sheets. Instead of drying them in the sun, we set the oven at 200 F and waited 5-6 hours until they shriveled up. Next we put them in jars and poured olive oil into the jar. We also had fresh basil growing in the garden. We took a bunch of basil leaves and placed them in a jar and put them in the refrigerator.

We forgot them for several weeks. The oil congealed. One day I took a jar out of the refrigerator and let it get to room temperature. I took 2 slices of whole grain bread, put several of the dried tomatoes on the bread, then added several slices of Jarlsberg cheese. Took a bite… as our kids would have said, “Awesome!”

In recreating this experience, besides the original recipe I also decided to do some experimental ingredients. In one jar I added olives. In another, chunks of Parmesan cheese. Can’t wait to open them up in a couple of months.

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