Friday, September 10, 2010

Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic

Today’s post is about two ingredients that will be used in future posts.  Be sure to check back next week when we add sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic to homemade hummus!! Yum!

I love using sun-dried tomatoes but they can be really expensive.  An 8 oz. jar of sun-dried tomatoes costs about $5, depending on where you buy it, and only contains about 5.5 oz. of tomatoes.

A few years ago I discovered dried tomatoes in the bulk bins at WinCo.  This is by far the cheapest way to buy them.  I don’t know how much they currently cost, but I know it is much less than the jarred tomatoes.  I take them home and pack them in oil myself.  It is really easy to do and much more affordable than buying them packed in oil.  I always snip them into bite-sized pieces with my kitchen shears before packing them.

There are no right or wrong quantities when it comes to the flavor ingredients.  Do what you like.

Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil
Desired herbs (e.g. basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, bay)
Sun-dried tomatoes, whole or snipped to desired size
Olive oil

In the bottom of a jar, place herbs.  Fill jar with tomatoes being careful not to pack too tight (you want the oil to be able to seep between them).  Pour oil over tomatoes to cover.  Place lid on jar and keep in refrigerator.  Use within one month.

As the olive oil sits in the refrigerator, you may notice it start to solidify.  That is okay.  When you need to use the tomatoes, simply put the jar (minus the lid) in the microwave for a few seconds to liquefy the oil.

Tomatoes in solidified olive oil.

I also really like roasted garlic, which is super easy to make at home.  I love adding it to homemade hummus, mashed potatoes, pizza, toasted baguette slices, and pasta.

Roasted Garlic
Garlic bulbs
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°.  Cut each garlic bulb in half to expose cloves and place on foil.  Drizzle generously with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt.  If possible, place garlic top back on bottom; if not, don’t worry about it.  Bring the four corners of the foil together and seal shut.  Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.  Let cool slightly; remove cloves from skin.

Garlic drizzled with olive oil and
sprinkled with salt
Bring four corners together and seal

Roasted bulb
The roasted  cloves pop right out

The roasted coves can be refrigerated for a few days if not used immediately.

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