Dana Slatkin

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Oven-Dried Tomato

Last week, I received a wonderful care package from a friend of mine who lives in New Jersey — a gigantic box of tomatoes and peaches from her local farmers market. As women tend to do, my thoughtful friend had somehow read my mind and sent me just the answer to my cravings. As school and the ensuing frenzy begin, fresh juicy tomatoes and peaches are what I’ll miss when summer is behind us.

But since I had just made a batch of gardeny gazpacho and festive Caprese Towers the night before, I pulled out this recipe from The Summertime Anytime Cookbook, one that I employ whenever there’s a surplus of tomatoes to keep from going to waste. Requiring just a few minutes to prepare and plenty of unmonitored oven time to spend as you wish, they are as addictive as kettle corn and packed with nutrition.

If you can resist eating the whole tray straight out of the oven, there are umpteen tasty ways of using these caramelized gems. They add bold color, texture, and verve to just about any meal. Toss them in an omelet, quiche, salad, couscous, rice, or pasta (I sauté some vegetarian sausages and broccolini in olive oil and garlic, then add the oven-dried tomatoes and a little broth to form a delicious sauce). For a quick hors d’oeuvre, thread them on little skewers or toothpicks along with bite-sized bocconcini of mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. The slow-roast technique draws out the best of flavors even when tomatoes aren’t at their peak. Which may be around the corner but I’m not admitting it yet!

For another delicious way to put those beautiful summer tomatoes to use, try my Seared Fish with Simple Sauce.

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