POMODORI ESSICCATI

In Italy, this preparation of the pomodori essicati (Sun-dried tomatoes) is best done at the end of July or in the first 20 days of August, when the sun is scorching, so the vegetables will be dehydrated and perfectly ripe.

Ingredients

ripe, firm, medium-size tomatoes
basil leaves
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

How to make the Sun-dried Tomatoes:

Clean the vegetables with a wet towel, cut them in half length-wise, remove the seeds, put them over a grate with the open side up, and sprinkle liberally with salt (if they are not salted enough, they will become moldy).

Leave them in the sun for 4-5 days, turning occasionally, and taking them indoors at night. At the end of each day, drain the water they will have oozed. On the last day, wash the basil leaves and let them dry over a cloth in the shade.

Put the tomatoes halves back together, placing a basil leaf in the middle of the cut, and press well. Then place them in layers in a clean, dry jar. Press well, add some peperoncino and a clove of garlic if you wish, cover the pomodori essicati (Sun-dried tomatoes) entirely with oil, close the jar with an airtight cover and store it.

They will be ready for consumption in 2 weeks. Tomatoes prepared like this can be served as part of an antipasto or as a side dish for boiled and broiled meats. If you cannot dry the tomatoes outside because of the weather, you can dry the pomodori essicati (Sun-dried tomatoes) in a warm oven (pre-heated and then turned off).

Regional recipe from Liguria, Apulia and Calabria

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