Slow-roasted tomatoes with pomegranate & thyme
Makes around 500 g
We developed this dish 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
125 ml (4 fl oz) olive oil
60 ml (2 fl oz) sherry vinegar
40 ml (1 . fl oz) pomegranate
1 teaspoon good-quality harissa
(or see page 56)
1 teaspoon sumac
a few sprigs of thyme
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) medium vine-ripened
tomatoes, halved lengthways
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 120ºC.
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.
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.
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 sterilized 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.