Ingredients

2 Quarts of cherry tomatoes
Sea Salt
Fresh Pepper
½ cup olive oil blended with fresh rosemary and fresh thyme
Two fresh cloves of Garlic
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 small hot peppers
1 cup of olive oil

Directions

1. Halve each tomato and place closely together on a rimmed cookie sheet or metal sheet with holes.
2. Salt with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
3. Place cookie sheet of middle rack of 200 degree oven ( plus or minus 15 degrees).
4. After one hour, baste tomatoes with the fresh rosemary-fresh thyme olive oil blend.
5. Repeat the basting after the second hour.

Note: The time required to dry out the cherries depends on the size of the fruit. Usually it takes 3-4 hours or so, but larger cherries may take more time. You want the tomatoes to dry out, but not turn crispy!

6. In each sterilized half-pint or pint jar, loosely pack the dried cherry tomatoes, a fresh clove of garlic, a sprig of fresh thyme and fresh rosemary, and a small hot pepper.
7. Cover with a good quality virgin olive oil.
8. You can leave in refrigerator or alternatively top with sterilized lids, band each jar hand tight, and immerse in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes making sure that the tops of the jars are covered with at least two inches of boiling water.

Recipe courtesy of Mari Beth Bennett, 2009.

Mari Beth Bennett of Haverhill, Massachusetts won the top prize for canning and preserving at the 2009 Topsfield Fair for this recipe. Greg Reppucci, Professor of Food Science and judge for the Topsfield Fair, was so impressed that he asked her permission to prepare them in this text. It is a perfect way to preserve your own home grown cherry tomatoes or an inexpensive method to make them at home. They are delicious as an appetizer. Greg recommends “water crackers/ fresh goat cheese/ topped with these delicious oven-dried cherry tomatoes and a little bit of oil.”

Preserved Cherry Tomatoes
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