Slow-roasted tomatoes with pomegranate & thyme

Slow-roasted tomatoes with pomegranate & thyme

By
From
New Feast
Makes
500g
Photographer
Alan Benson

The recipe for these semi-dried tomatoes evolved from one in our earlier book, Turquoise. We developed it as a way of recreating the intensely flavoursome sun-dried tomatoes that proliferate in Turkey through the hot summer months. There, they are dried in the sunshine, along with capsicums and chilli peppers, but this slow oven-roasting method works almost as well. They are a stalwart of our pantry and we use them with abandon, as we would deli-bought sun-dried tomatoes: in salads, casseroles, pilafs and sauces – or just on their own as part of a mezze selection. The dried tomatoes keep for ten days, or for several months, if packed in oil in sealed sterilised jars.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
125ml olive oil
60ml sherry vinegar
40ml pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon good-quality harissa
1 teaspoon sumac
a few sprigs of thyme
1 kilogram medium vine-ripened tomatoes, halved lengthways
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 120°C.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, molasses, harissa, sumac and thyme. Add the tomatoes and toss gently so they are evenly coated in the mixture.
  3. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on metal racks set into baking trays (you’ll probably need two). Bake the tomatoes for 3–5 hours, depending on how plump and juicy they are. They should become shrunken and shrivelled, but still be a little moist, rather than brittle and dry. You could even leave them in the oven overnight.
  4. Remove from the oven and leave the tomatoes to cool on the racks. Arrange them in layers in a shallow container, separated by greaseproof paper and chill for up to a week. Alternatively, transfer the cold tomatoes to dry sterilised jars and fill with olive oil – they must be completely immersed and take care not to create any air pockets. Seal the jar and use within 3 months. Once opened, store in the fridge and eat within a month.
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