The tomato bounty over the weekend resulted in two favorite ways to prepare themâ€¦first, a mozzarella and tomato salad with basil. I had a whole fresh buffalo mozzarella in the fridge that went perfectly with 7-8 medium sized tomatoes sliced and spread on a large platterâ€¦ just drizzle everything with good olive oil, add a generous sprinkle of good salt and cracked black pepper and garnish with fresh basil leaves from the garden. This is one of my all-time favorite salads and this generous platter easily served six at a cost of perhaps just PHP60 per personâ€¦
The three kilos of native tomatoes from the previous post went untouched for two days and had ripened to maximum juiciness. I decided to semi-dry them in the oven to approximate the delicious semi-dried tomatoes I used to get from the Victoria Market in Melbourne. To make, just wash your tomatoes and slice off the stem end. Cut into four pieces and place on a baking pan skin side down (lined with foil for less mess, or silpat sheets), sprinkle generously with good salt and put in a 200 degree oven for 3-4 hours until they look pretty dehydrated but are still a little damp. Cool these and store in a Tupperware with good olive oil drizzled on top of the tomatoes. Others like to add dried oregano and basil to increase the flavor punch. These semi-dried tomatoes are superb with toasted French bread, with cheese, mixed into pasta, etc. They should last about a week or so in the fridgeâ€¦ try this the next time you have an excessive amount of really ripe tomatoes!