There is probably no such thing as “Greek Caprese,” but this is exactly what this is – a delicious combination of tomatoes, cheese and fresh herb. Except… It’s a little bit more time-consuming to make… to say the least! It takes several hours to make these oven-roasted tomatoes! If you are still reading (I hope you are), I beg you not to be scared though, because – THEY ARE SO WORTH YOUR TIME! When I got Food & Wine’s August issue and saw this salad on the picture, I immediately knew I would love it and practically ran to the store to buy feta cheese, plum tomatoes and fresh mint. I loved these tomatoes so much, I am planning to make a batch of them and keep a jar in my fridge! I only made one small tray just for this salad, but I am making more of these for sure. As F&W suggests, you can add them to salads, pasta, sauces, soups, everything! And they are sooo delicious with just a piece of bread. I think they taste much better than sun-dried tomatoes, because they remain juicy.
First, make oven-dried tomatoes. I only had about 7 plum tomatoes, for this salad. Also, I kept them in the oven for two hours, because I didn’t have time, but posting the original recipe from Food & Wine here:
Ingredients (for 2 1/2 pints)
8 lbs. firm but ripe plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 heads of garlic, closed separated, but not peeled
12 large thyme springs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Working over a medium bowl, pry the seeds and pulp out of the tomatoes and discard. Pour 1/4 cup of the olive oil onto baking trays (use the foil or baking sheets for easy cleaning). Arrange the tomatoes cut side down on the baking sheets and scatter the garlic and thyme all around. Make a tiny slit on each tomato half.
2. Bake the tomatoes for about 45 minutes, until the skins begin to wrinkle. Take the baking trays out of the oven.
3. Carefully pinch off the skins. Flip each tomato half and back for another hour. Flip the tomatoes again and continue baking until the surfaces look dry but the tomatoes are still slightly plump, about 2 hours longer. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and let cool completely.
4. Discard the thyme springs and peel the garlic cloves. Layer the tomatoes with the garlic in five 1/4-pint jars. Add enough olive oil to cover the tomatoes by at least 1 inch. Slide the blade of a knife along the side of each jar to release any air bubbles. Seal the jars and refrigerate for up to 2 months or freeze for up to 6 months.
Layer the oven-dried tomatoes with sliced feta. Sprinkle with finely chopped fresh mint leaves, olive oil, crushed red pepper and dried oregano. Enjoy with bread or just as it is!