from the garden

Olive Oil Preserved Eggplant and Oven Dried Tomatoes: 2 Recipes

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I just had the most fantastic backyard garden summer harvest, and I needed to come up with a couple of recipes to preserve the copious amounts of eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and fresh herbs that I gathered. (These recipes are gluten free, of course. I probably don’t need to mention that in every post, but I often have friends ask me what is and isn’t gf, so I think I’ll keep throwing that in my descriptions for a while, just so it’s really clear.)

I still have tons more produce out there that hasn’t even ripened yet! You guys maybe already saw the green puree and some fun I’ve had with pickling peppers and roasting cherry tomatoes, so today I thought I’d share Olive Oil Preserved Eggplants (aka “slow roast eggplant” or “confit eggplant”) and Oven Dried Tomatoes. I saw a recipe in a magazine recently for eggplant a lot like this, but I’ve been using my recipe for a long time, and I have it just the way I like it and wanted to share the one that I use.  I’m also putting together a fresh tomato sauce for what I hope will be an awesome gluten free Eggplant Parmesan, but since I haven’t made that yet, I’ll wait to include the tomato sauce with what I hope will be a success that I’ll be able to share with you guys! I’m a little nervous about that one. I haven’t had a decent gf eggplant parmesan yet. I think I’ve found a couple of ideas that might make this one good, but if anyone has a favorite recipe that has worked for them, I’d love to know! I have all of these tomatoes and eggplants just waiting for a good experiment! I really want to come up with one that will freeze and reheat well.

For these recipes, I did the eggplant and the tomatoes together, so I made sure that they worked with the same oven temperature. If you have the ingredients, these are simple and fast recipes (though they take a long time in the oven) that can be made at the same time and are great to have on hand to add to other dishes, since they are full of intensely wonderful flavor.

confit eggplant

Olive Oil Preserved Eggplant

eggplantIngredients:

  • 4-5 Japanese Eggplant (you can substitute other varieties)
  • 1 Tbs + 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbs chili flakes
  • 4 ea hot peppers (I have a crazy quantity of rooster peppers right now, so I used those, but when my thai chilies ripen, they will be the next to spice up my dishes! If they were ripe now, they would be fantastic here.)
  • 1/2 bunch basil – leaves and stems are both great. My basil was actually starting to bolt and get a little woody, so I cut it back and used the less attractive pieces here. The flavor was great!

Olive oil preserved eggplantMethod:

Preheat oven to 275°

Cut your Eggplant in half and sprinkle the cut sides with 1 Tbs salt to draw out excess moisture and bitterness. Let sit for 15 minutes, rinse, and allow to dry or dry with paper towels.

Place the eggplant cut side up in a baking dish and pour the olive oil over, making sure to saturate each of the pieces well. The oil does not need to cover the eggplant pieces and it’s ok if the eggplant overlap. They will shrink down and release moisture into the oil as they cook. Sprinkle with 2 tsp salt, the cracked pepper, and the chili flakes. Tuck the basil and peppers in and put in the oven for 2 hours.

When they are cool, put them in a jar and keep refrigerated. They will keep for at least two weeks.

oven dried tomatoes


Oven Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5 # Tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 bunch thyme

Method

Preheat oven to 275°

Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a sheet pan with a layer of parchment paper on it.

Drizzle oil over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and scatter thyme around.

Place in the oven for 2-3 hours, until tomatoes are wrinkled and look well roasted. If you want really dry tomatoes, reduce oven temperature to 200° and leave for 6-8 hours. That’s what I decided to do!

Let cool and keep refrigerated or frozen. Throw them in anything that you want! They have an incredibly rich and intense flavor that adds an amazing layer to sauces, salads, soups, beans, pizzas, and a ton of other dishes!

oven roast tomatoes

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