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20 roma tomatoes
5 sprigs oregano fresh, try fresh thyme or basil before settling for dried oregano
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
icing sugar
extra virgin olive oil
    • Medium




    Semi dried tomatoes, say it to some and they’ll scrunch up their nose and make a “yucky” face, say it to others and they’ll smile and move closer to you. The difference I think is that some have only tasted the jarred variety, while the latter group has tried the homemade variety or tasted them from a nice deli.

    The difference is quite staggering; the ones from the jars often taste like an oily shoe with liquorice laces. While a proper freshly dried tomato can taste like you’re actually eating a dozen tomatoes, with a bunch of fresh herbs and a whisper of extra virgin all in the one bite. Once you realize how easy it is to do your own you’ll wonder why you ever put up with the over-dried over oiled store bought variety.

    1. Preheat oven to approx 110 degrees (230 fahrenheit)
    2. Cut each tomato in half lengthwise and arrange on a drying/cooling rack.
    3. Set rack on a baking pan/sheet.
    4. Drizzle oil lightly along the rows of tomato halves.
    5. Strip the leaves off the stems of oregano and sprinkle liberally over tomatoes.
    6. Season with salt and pepper.
    7. Dust very lightly with powdered/icing sugar.
    8. Place tray and rack in oven and leave for at least 4 hours, taste one at this point, if you like them drier keep going, up to 16 hours for very dry.
    9. If they won’t be consumed within a couple of days store them covered in oil, (but please use a nice virgin oil, not a blasphemous vegetable oil over your beautiful tomatoes).

    Paul Hegeman

    Paul is a personal Chef to exclusive Sydney clients and is also our most frequently contributing writer. Paul was born in The Netherlands and moved to Canada at a very young age. Experience with traditional European meals at home and the diverse multicultural influence of foods in Canada gave Paul a great appreciation for different culinary styles. Over the years Paul traveled extensively and worked at every level of professional kitchens, from the deep fryer in the local burger joint, to the Head Chef in Five Star Hotels. He now resides full time in Sydney, Australia with his wife and their children. You will find his recipes emphasize natural, uncomplicated flavours and fresh ingredients such as those found in Mediterranean and South East Asian cuisines.

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