If you have a garden and have it planted with lots of veggies, you will know what the summer months are like, i.e. busy busy busy! Not only watering, weeding and general ‘maintenance’ but also the fun part, that is picking the fruits of your labour and turning them into delicious food once in the kitchen, takes up a lot of time.
Like every year, I wish I had an extra pair of hands and a larger pantry, because I never preserve all that I would like – yup, maybe I do plant more than I can…chew – so I end up eating most of it fresh and giving away the surplus. This is actually something nice, because it starts off a cycle of giving: now it’s me giving away tomatoes and cucumbers and then it’s my neighbour gifting me with some of her figs, of which she too has in abundance. This is perfect to avoid waste and creates bonds with the locals!
Tomatoes are enjoying the perfect season this year because we’ve never had this many before. No pests, no illness whatsoever, ripening perfectly and in large quantities. It feels like they’re a real gift and that I almost do not deserve them, haha.
Only, now I am trying to come up with different ways of preparing them, besides the usual sauces and salads, so I thought I would give this recipe a go. It’s a rather popular summer recipe, maybe because it is so simple. It does require to turn the oven on (horror!) but at a low temperature and you can maybe do this like I did, very early in the morning or during a cooler day after a rainfall.
Here is the recipe if you’ve got your hands full of these sweet red gems and don’t know what else to do with them:
CONFIT CHERRY TOMATOES
As many tomatoes as you have on hand, I had an oven tray full of them (which double up once they’re cut in half)
2 cloves of garlic
2tbsp rapadura/muscovado sugar
olive oil to drizzle
a handful of thyme leaves
Turn the oven on at 60°C/140°F. Cut all tomatoes in half (you can check this video for a quick way of doing this, it’s brilliant!), place cut-side-up on an oven tray covered with parchment paper. Press the garlic or chop it very finely and sprinkle over the tomatoes, then sprinkle them with the sugar too. Place in the oven and cook for 1hr30′ then take them out and dress with the olive oil and thyme. I prefer these served warm as a side to fish dishes.
Next time I will try using rice malt syrup instead to cut down on the fructose of the muscovado sugar. Will add my thoughts on that here if it works out. Feel free to share any ways you may have to make these sweet oven baked tomatoes, I’m always curious!