We did phenomenally well for tomatoes last year. We planted a few tomato plants at the top of the garden in May, watered them a couple of times then more or less ignored them for the rest of the summer. We harvested our first tomato on 1st July and they just kept on coming.
Keeping up with the supply of tomatoes and thinking of ways of using them proved to be a challenge. It seemed wrong to waste any so I made and froze tomato sauce, tomato soup and just plain chopped tomatoes.
Round at a friend’s house for apéros one evening she served her own herby roast tomatoes in olive oil, simply squashed onto a thin slice of baguette. They were delicious. This made me think I should have a go at something similar myself.
I used this recipe on the BBC Good Food website as a guide, but it’s so easy that a recipe is hardly necessary.
Once the roasted tomatoes were cool, I packed them tightly into Le Parfait jars, pouring olive oil on the layers to make sure there were no air gaps. Writing this five months after they were first bottled, I can confirm that they have kept perfectly well in the fridge for several months, although the oil does solidify and it’s a good idea to use up the contents in a few days once the jar is open.
The tomatoes have many uses, in salads, soups, casseroles and so on, but are delicious just squashed onto a slice of fresh or toasted baguette.
freshly picked cherry or medium sized tomatoes
fresh or dried herbs, eg thyme and basil
a handful of garlic cloves
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 160°C / 140° fan.
Cut each larger tomato in half and lay cut side up on baking trays. The cherry tomatoes can be left whole. Tuck in a few cloves of garlic and sprigs of thyme or basil leaves, or sprinkle lightly with dried herbs. Drizzle liberally with balsamic and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven for an hour, then turn off the oven and leave the trays in until the tomatoes are cool.
Pack into jars in tight layers, covering with oil to avoid any air bubbles. Fill the jars right to the top, leaving a layer of oil on the top. Keep in the fridge. Keeps for up to six months but use within a week or so once the jar is opened.