When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and when life gives you a heat wave, make sundried tomatoes. Last year I sun dried the principe borghese and made the yellow cherries into passata. The flavour of the passata was good but the yellow colour was just a bit too odd for many dishes. This year I thought I might try sun drying the yellow ones and making passata from the red ones. We have more yellow than red too, which is a good thing, because I find sun dried tomatoes more useful than passata.
I wrote about this method for sun drying tomatoes last year. Threaded onto bamboo skewers over dark plates, and left on the dashboard of the car, parked in the sun, windows up, they dry in this weather in a single day. The threading is a little bit laborious but it means you don’t have to turn them and they get air all the way around.
I have a plate of basil, oregano and garlic chives out in the sun too, and a couple of clean jars . I shall pack the dried tomatoes with the dried herbs into the solar sterilized jars and cover with oil from the olive jars. They’ll last like that on the shelf right through next winter. It’s low work, no energy cost, gourmet product preserving.
That bowl of chilis from the last post yesterday became this:
A half a teaspoon of that in a big pot Chili Beans makes them nicely spicy.
The heat wave is not comfortable, and quite scary in its preview of the “normal” to come. But at least there’s some good can be made of it.