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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Just so you know

The tomatoes in the post below look a bit tired don't they?  If you look closely you can see where they're beginning to wrinkle and pucker.  Nice. 

I should explain. We bought these baby plums a couple of weeks ago, at the Sunday market on Brick Lane.  I can only apologise for the fact that I was buying fresh tomatoes in deepest, darkest November: I think I must have been shocked into purchasing them by the fact that they were only a pound a bowl.  When I got them home I thought I would make a nice batch of fresh tomato sauce, but Mr. F begged me to leave them for his lunch boxes during the week.  He said they were his friends (yes, he literally said that).

So, I washed them and put them in the fridge, which I know is another controversial step.

And there they stayed.  Uneaten and unloved.  I don't think Mr. F touched them once.

I decided last Sunday night that something had to be done.  And here is what I did.

I cut all of the tomatoes in half, lengthways (I reckon there was probably a kilo and a bit of toms), and laid them cut side up on a couple of baking sheets.  Then I mixed together equal quantities of caster sugar and table salt (i.e. not Maldon sea salt flakes), making a combined quantity of about a third of a cup or 70g.  I added a pretty good grinding of pepper.  Then I sprinkled this over the tomatoes, and put them in a 50 degree oven overnight.  In the morning I just turned off the oven and left them there.

When I got back from work, I put the wizened, I mean dried, tomatoes into a kilner jar with a finely chopped clove of garlic and covered the whole lot with a mixture of sunflower and EV olive oil.  Who knows, they'll probably stay in the fridge for the next six months, following which they will be unceremoniously binned.  But I'm hoping that I'll make good use of them in an appetizing range of exotic dishes.

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