Tomatoes from our garden, en route.

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Ventured out to the garden and returned with another basket, brimming with both San Marzano and red currant cherry tomatoes.  Even with all the cherry tomatoes we lost due to our lackadaisical gardening, we still ended up with a healthy harvest of 4-5 lbs.  (Keeping in mind that some of these tomatoes are tiny, like dime-sized, so that was still a lot.)

We decided to try our hand at making mostarda di pomodori (tomato mostarda).  All these preserving recipes are from the August 2010 issue of La Cucina Italiana but you can find the mostarda recipe here.

The photo above is of the tomato mixture, cooling to room temperature.  After a night spent chilling in the fridge (the recipe says 12 hours), we'll finish the job.

And above we have our attempt at making pomodori secchi (preserved sun-dried tomatoes).  These puppies were in that oven all day and we haven't even begun the preserving part of the recipe so tomorrow is part two.

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pomodori secchi / preserved sun-dried tomatoes

1 hour * makes 1 pint

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar (7% acidity)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 celery stalk, halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
  • 2 fresh arbol or serrano chiles, thinly sliced
  • About 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

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Line a baking sheet with paper towels.  Gently smash and peel 1 garlic clove.  In a large saucepan, combine peeled garlic, vinegar, water, celery, bay leaves and peppercorns; bring to a boil and cook, 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, return mixture to a boil and cook 3 minutes more.  Remove mixture from heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to prepared baking sheet to drain; let cool to room temperature.  Thinly slice remaining 2 garlic cloves.  Layer tomatoes, sliced garlic and chiles into a clean, dry 1-pint jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid.  Add just enough oil to cover mixture and secure with lid.  Preserved sun-dried tomatoes keep, chilled, for 2 weeks.  Bring to room temperature before serving.