I have both a love and hate relationship with homegrown cherry tomatoes. I love their sweet taste and their colourful and cute look. And I also can’t ignore that they are super easy to grow, even in small spaces. But, boy-o-boy, they are oh so difficult to harvest, if you want to pick more than a handful of these beauties. And if you end up with a glut of mini tomatoes – because they are so easy to grow – there aren’t a whole lot of ways to easily transform them into something that can be preserved for winter. So after a few years of growing my very own mini tomatoes, my conclusion is that cherry tomatoes aren’t very versatile, and are only suitable as snack tomatoes during tomato season!
BUT if you have eaten more tomatoes than you can handle and if you have given tomatoes away to all your friends and you still have tomatoes, then there remains one more thing you can do with these mini tomatoes: dry them. It takes some time, but you will end up with delicious dried tomatoes which you can mix up with garlic in olive oil.
I myself am in the middle of this preservation process right now. The first batch is finished (dried) and finished (eaten). They tasted yummy. [printfriendly]
DRIED TOMATOES IN OLIVE OIL
100 cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
5 tbsp olive oil
Optional: salt + pepper + herbs
Preheat the oven at 90C (ideally you do this after you have cooked up another meal in the oven, to save energy).
Clean the tomatoes, remove their little green hats and cut them in half. Place them on a baking tray (+ baking paper) with the cut side facing up. Don’t add any oil at this point. Place them in the preheated oven at 90C for about two hours, and leave them in there after the oven is turned off until the oven cools down completely. I left them there for a whole night.
Now you can place the dried tomatoes in a jar. Then add the sliced garlic and top them off with the oil. Save the preserve in the fridge for at least 24h before eating it, so that all the flavours and juices are mixed together. Eat as a perfect topping on a nice piece of bread.
You can keep them in a closed jar in your fridge for at least two weeks, but a jar doesn’t survive very long in our house. So I’ve never tested this out myself.