Thursday, June 10, 2010


Sometimes the really simple salads are the best.  This salad was an afterthought I just threw a packet of baby spinach in a bowl sprinkled over some semi sun(oven)dried tomatoes with their oil, olives  feta cheese and balsamic vinegar, it was really good.  Each and every flavour was distinct and they complimented each other beautifully.  Couldn't be easier or tastier!

A few years ago my wonderful friend K. gave me a gift of a days cookery course with Kevin Dundon in Dunbrody House.  We had a great time - and learned loads.  Although even Kevin was unable to teach me how to chop onions properly, I really wish I could chop onions properly (you know with the flying knife the way the chefs on telly do it!!)

One of the handy basics Kevin covered was Oven Dried Tomatoes, they are incredibly easy, and the slow cooking intensifies the flavour of the tomatoes (and can actually give some flavour to our awful supermarket specimens).  I have simplified the recipe a little over the years, and this is what I do:

Oven Dried Tomatoes

10          Tomatoes  (or about 40 cherry tomatoes)
4 tbsp     Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4             Garlic Cloves
2 tbsp     Chopped Fresh Thyme

Quarter the tomatoes or cut into eight if very large (cut cherry tomatoes in half)
Measure the oil into a small bowl and grate the garlic into the oil (this prevents the garlic charring)
Place the tomatoes in a roasting dish and sprinkle with the thyme.
Drizzle the garlicy oil over the tomatoes and leave in a warm oven for a few hours.*
They are ready when they have a slightly dried texture at the edges.
Store in a jar covered with extra virgin olive oil in the fridge.  (This oil is wonderful in salads)

*Kevin said to put the tomatoes into the oven after cooking the Sunday roast, and that the tomatoes would cook in the residual heat.  I have found that this is not enough to dry the tomatoes, and I roast them in a low (about 100 C) oven for  3 hours.


Anonymous said...

That salad sounds really good...and the salmon (is it salmon?) in the background does too! have you ever made anyhting sweet with tomatoes? Just wondering- I haven't, but have a recipe for tomato jam and am curious as to what it would go with?

Brownieville Girl said...

Yup, it is salmon Emmalene, I served it with Nigella's dill sauce and my Mum's marie rose sauce.

Is your tomatoe jam sweet - just tomatoes and sugar or is it more like a chilli jam? I would usually presume that tomatoe jam would be like a chutney. I'd be really interested to hear about your recipe.

Anonymous said...

It's in the dessert section of the book; just tomatoes, sugar and a bit of lemon juice to set it. It sounds sweet...I will have to make it and see I suppose. I'm wondering if it's a bit like putting carrots in a cake- ie, it sounds weird but it actually works?!

BetterLate said...

Emmalene, I had tomato jam in Spain the first time I went there (over 40 years ago !!) and yes, it was sweet - like a "normal" jam.

Kim said...

Thanks for finding my site! I like that you made your own oven dried tomatoes. I bet they were excellent and had wonderful flavor!

Sook said...

I agree. Simple salad with only few ingredients seems to be better at times. This salad sounds delicious!
Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog! Your blog is so wonderful, too. I always look forward to reading your new posts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks BL- and yes, it is a Spanish recipe! I'll try it out x