This is my first try making these and I think I need a bit of practise to tightly pack the jars. My Italian friend guarantees its success. I used roma tomatoes.
1. Wash the tomatoes and cut into 4 lengthways.
2. Scoop out the seeds.
3. Pack these tomato quarters into a sterilised jar with a wide mouth (Agee jars are good). Use a clean wooden spoon to push out all the air between the pieces. When full, tightly close the lid.
4. Wrap the jars in newspaper to stop them banging against each other. Place them into your biggest pot and cover with cold water. The water must submerge the jars by at least an inch. Bring to the boil, boil for 30 minutes then turn off the heat and allow to completely cool before removing the jars. Store in a cool dark place.
Use these for making sauces or adding to cold weather braises.
Oven dried cherry tomatoes bottled in oil
1. Cut cherry or baby tomatoes in half and layer across a baking tray.
2. Keep the oven at a low heat and allow the tomatoes to "semi dry".
3. Place in a jar, add a few garlic cloves and a dried red chilli. Cover with a light olive oil. You could add some thyme sprigs, rosemary or a bay leaf. Don't add soft herbs such as basil or marjoram as these will deteriorate over time. Keep sealed and cool until using for antipasti, on crostini or in pesto.
The tomato/garlic oil is great to use for cooking.
I have had problems preserving things in oil, so I keep these jars in the fridge.
Remember, oil can turn rancid over time so these have a limited shelf life.By Grant Allen