Texture is a funny thing. Everyone knows someone who categorically won’t touch tomatoes, and issues with avocado and mushrooms are not far behind. Something about the squishiness of certain foods really makes people lose their minds. I was once one of those people, and it created some real problems. 2am and in desperate need of an ‘on-the-way-home-after-too-much-wine’ pie? Good luck finding a chicken pie without mushrooms in it. Thankfully, I outgrew those texture issues (although don’t even mention calamari tentacles), and went from zero to hero on both the mushroom and avo fronts. Tomatoes have been a little more of a gradual process though. I like tomatoes, I will touch them with my hands, and have even on occasion eaten a raw one all on its own (a cherry tomato, obviously, don’t be crazy). But I still definitely prefer the little red guys partially cooked, sun-dried, or dehydrated. So this is the perfect blend of that slightly cooked/sun-dried taste, and the minimal effort that I like to put into salads. You can also keep them in the fridge for a long time, and toss them into pastas, roasted vegetables or sandwiches whenever you need a little tangy extra. This recipe is an ever-so-slight adaptation of Nigella’s, which is also delicious, but has a little less zing.
500g rosa (or cherry) tomatoes
1 tblp olive oil
1 tblsp light brown sugar
2 tsp white wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 220° C (it will take a while, so do it first). Slice the tomatoes in half length-ways. Or even into quarters, depending how big they are. Toss them in the combined oil, sugar and vinegar, and spread them out in a roasting pan or baking tray. You can also add some finely chopped fresh rosemary at this point, if it takes your fancy. Once the oven arrives at 220, put the dish of tomatoes in, count to 10, and then turn the oven off (I’m not really sure if the count to 10 makes any difference, but for some reason, I just feel like it helps). Don’t open the door, don’t have a peak, or you will lose all the heat. Leave them in the turned-off oven overnight, and in the morning you will have partially-dehydrated-but-also-moist-and-delicious moonblush tomatoes. If you had quite large baby tomatoes, you might like to repeat the oven process a second time, maybe when the oven’s on for dinner the next night. You can also adjust the ratio of vinegar to sugar, depending on whether you like them a little more sweet or a little more tart.