Rushing through the market the other day, the Fruit and Veg stall, grabbed my attention. Bursting at the seems, with lush seasonal goodies. Strawberries, ruby-red and glistening, Cherries deep burgundy, just waiting to be worn as cheeky earrings, new potatoes freshly dug, the first apricot and peaches sitting perfectly waiting to be chosen.
For me bundles of Asparagus, armfuls in fact, to be lightly steamed, and drizzled with melted butter, to be roasted with olive oil, rock salt and a grating of Parmesan, to be wrapped in Serrano ham and grilled on the plancha…for my children dipped into boiled eggs – “Posh Soldiers” we call it. Made into a tart, puff pastry rolled out into a rectangle, covered in herded cream cheese, asparagus placed on top, drizzle of olive oil, crack of black pepper, a touch of salt, baked till golden ..Delish.
Tomatoes too, big bunches, firm and red on their vines..tomatoes that smell of tomatoes.
Buying at the market, always involves huge lots, that’s how you get your bargains. So ladened too with my toms, I’ve made fresh tomato sauce to freeze for Pasta dishes at a later date..
On Saturday we woke to the most glorious sunshine, with temperatures to boot..ah that had me thinking, make the most of the day. So I made my first batch of Sun Dried Tomatoes for the season. To be enjoyed over the next few weeks, with crumbly goats cheese, piled on hot crusty bruchetta, or just greedily from the jar.
SUN DRIED TOMATOES .
Firstly cut each tomato in half, and scoop out the seeds.
Lay on a baking sheet, I cover mine with baking parchment
Put a drop of olive oil into each cavity, and leaf or two of fresh thyme, and sprinkle of fine rock salt.
Place in the full sun , in a hot place, in the fresh air. They can be covered with a fly net .
Leave all day, once they have shriveled, they are ready. If like me you may like a little juiciness in them..I think these are known as ‘Sunblush‘ One hot day should be sufficient, if you want them drier, bring in at night, cover, and put them out the next day.
Once dried, take a sterilized Jam Jar, put a little EVO in the bottom, and then stuff you toms in the jar. I add a garlic clove sliced in half, and a few sprigs of Thyme and Rosemary.
These little gems if not devoured before should last a couple of weeks in the fridge.