How to make sun dried tomatoes

Actually it should be ‘oven dried’ but the alternative sounds better. I was encouraged to try to do this by the current glut of tomatoes. Not from our garden, I hasten to add. The only ones we’ve grown have been popped straight into my mouth. All half dozen of them. So I bought two kilos of bright red vine tomatoes from the Market and following a googled recipe set to work. Cut the tomatoes in two and laid then in the tray, cut side uppermost. After 3 hours and at a temperature at 100 degrees the tomatoes looked cooked but not leathery. What degree of ‘wrinkled’ should I have been looking for? I wasn’t sure. The mistake was, I guessed, following a recipe of Anthony Worrall Thompson. There is a reason, apart from criminal activity, that he doesn’t appear much these days. And that’s because his recipes don’t work. So I went back to Google and found a few more. Learning that the tomatoes have to bake at the lowest temperature I left them in for another 8 hours. So 11 hours in total. Opening the oven door I saw that water dripped everywhere. It’s was time for bed and I couldn’t leave them in overnight so that had to be it. I bathed the tomatoes in warm vinegar for 10 minutes, bottled them in olive oil with a few capers added and they look lovely. They taste pretty good too. I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver in which she provides a recipe for Tomato pesto so I am going to try that! All in all a successful experiment but not one that will replace my purchases.

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