Wow feels like forever since my last post, which makes me sad. Cooking and blogging are two of my favorite things to do, and lately I have somehow not even had the time to do either! To the point that I hadn’t even had the time to prepare 1 kg of delicious sundried tomatoes I had bought in Greece back in April and had been having them tough and leathery in salads..terrible :)
So I decided enough is enough, there should always be time to make delicious food or at least should take some time preliminarily to prepare some basics so that when I need to use them quickly are ready to use.
Two Sundays ago, I decided to try my hand at marinating tomatoes with the instructions given to me by the charming older grocer who had sold them to me in the spice market area of Athens. His instructions were quite simple and straight forward, however he failed to tell me 2 things:
- There always needs to be a 1 cm deep layer of oil at the very top to keep the jar contents from spoiling.
- After rehydrating them, you need to press as much free water out of them as possible, again to prevent them from spoiling.
I unfortunately learned both the hard way, watching the last third of of my first sundried tomato batch spoil.
The tomatoes need to marinate for at least 7 days to really allow the oil to be infused with all the delicious flavors within the jar. You can of course eat them prior to that point, but for optimal results the waiting period is required. These are absolutely delicious on pasta, on salads, on a cracker with cream cheese and fresh basil. Also, the olive oil from the jar itself should be used in dressings or as a simple flavoring to spaghetti with fresh garlic and parmesan!
MARINATED SUNDRIED TOMATOES
- 1 liter finest quality extra virgin olive oil
- 500gr sundried tomatoes
- 10 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 3-4 sprigs of basil
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- Bring 1 liter of water to the boil in a large pot. Pour in the sundried tomatoes, cover with a lid and turn off the stove. Let tomatoes soak for 30 minutes.
- Remove the tomatoes from the water, drain thoroughly and place on paper towels to dry. Be sure to press all excess water well into the paper. (keep the sundried tomato infused water for use in sauces or to boil rice)
- In a sterilized jar, you will begin to layer. Layer 1: create tomato layer (5-6 tomatoes laid flat), then sprinkle a pinch of salt, pepper, crushed flakes, oregano and 1 crushed clove of garlic. Layer 2: create tomato layer (5-6 tomatoes laid flat), then sprinkle a pinch of salt, pepper, crushed flakes, oregano and 1 large leaf of basil. Alternated layers until you have 3cm left at the top, ensuring you are packing the layers snugly.
- Slowly pour in the olive oil, trying not to undo you neat layering work, ensuring there are no air-pockets as you fill the jar. Keep pouring the olive oil until you have just covered the tomatoes, the add the vinegar and top up with the rest of the olive oil making sure to cover your tomatoes with at least 1 cm of olive oil(which will act as a cap to preserve your tomatoes). Seal the jar and let the flavours infuse for 7 days.
- After the 7 days have passed you can open your jar and enjoy your delicious tomatoes on anything you desire, making sure to refrigerate after opening.