Why Tomatoes Braised in Olive Oil?
Nothing beats the flavour of a vine ripened, earth grown tomato. This might sound strange to some and have them asking aren’t all tomatoes grown in the ground and on a vine? The answer is no.
Unfortunately today most tomatoes that are sold are hydroponic- meaning they are grown in a soil-less medium. The other sad fact is that many tomatoes are picked before maturity and left to ripen in factories or in brown paper bags on the kitchen bench.
Having said that however, I still love tomatoes. You will find me at growers markets and grocers sourcing out tomatoes that are tasty and locally grown. To me the perfect tomato has a fire engine to blood red hue, is bursting with juice and has a unique sweet yet tart flavour.
I have come accustomed to having to eat tomatoes that don’t fit this description and so, have come up recipes that make any tomato taste better.
This recipe is perfect all year round but is particularly good during the winter months when food just doesn’t have that same sweetness.
4 medium vine ripened tomatoes, peeled
1- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 bunch basil leaves
1 teaspoons caster sugar
In a heavy based casserole dish place olive oil, basil and garlic cloves. Cook on a low heat until the garlic is soft.
In the meantime place the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from the water and peel off the skin using the back of a small knife.
Add the peeled tomatoes, stem side down and season with sea salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of caster sugar. Cover and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Turn carefully and season again with salt, pepper and the rest of the sugar. Cook for a further 20 minutes or until tender making sure to baste with oil every now and then.
Serve warm or at temperature with crusty bread and goats cheese. Serves 4.
Store the tomatoes in their oil in the refrigerator for up to a week. To serve bring back to room temperature.