Sun-Dried Tomatoes Packed in Oil - Pomodorini Sott'Olio
Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil are incredibly easy to prepare, and have an unbelievably rich flavor, so delicious that they will be a mouthwatering experience when simply placed on a piece of crunchy, fresh bread. They are so versatile in their use that they will not only enhance many dishes, but they will be amazing when incorporated in pasta dishes, a perfect accompaniment to appetizers, crostini, sandwiches and spreads. Let's get started!
Sterilize glass jars with lids by boiling them for 15 minutes. Set on a clean dish towel upside down to dry.
Slice the garlic, cayenne peppers and chop the parsley. Set aside.
Boil the water and vinegar. Best if done outside because of the pungent smell of the vinegar which permeates the kitchen.
Once the water and vinegar come to a boil, add the sun-dried tomatoes in order to reconstitute them. Allow them to gently simmer/boil for 3 minutes.
Remove the tomatoes from the liquid and place them over a very clean dish towel. Make sure it does not have the scent from detergent or fabric softener.
Roll the dish towel as if you were preparing a cinnamon roll, and thoroughly squeeze all of the water and vinegar out.
Once the tomatoes have been well drained, place them in a bowl.
Add the garlic, parsley and olive oil. Mix together thoroughly. No salt is needed as the tomatoes have been well salted in the drying process. One can omit the garlic if there is concern for botulism, or simply can them.
Place the tomatoes inside the sterilized jars, making sure to drizzle some olive oil between the layers. Press down on the tomatoes with a spoon or fork allowing all the air trapped inside to come to the surface.
By sliding the back of a knife or the back of a fork inside and down the glass of each jar, more air bubbles will be released to the surface. Now it is time to top each jar with more olive oil until they are completely submerged.
Tightly close each jar with a lid. For larger batches, if storing them at room temperature is a concern, place the jars in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. The jars must boil for 20 minutes to be fully canned. Botulism is the concern, and is a rare but potentially serious illness.
In Italy the jars are simply placed on a shelf, in a dark place without the process of canning. The tomatoes are allowed to infuse for at least one month before eating them. Once opened the jars must be stored in the refrigerator. When olive oil is placed in a cold environment it will solidify, but will quickly liquify when at room temperature.
What a glorious addition sun-dried tomatoes are to so many dishes. Enjoy!