This is the fourth year we are cultivating our garden.
As soon as we moved in this new house, we had no doubt. A portion of our garden would have been dedicated to cultivating vegetables.
We have been taught by our friend Bruno, who has been cultivating a garden for years, how to prepare the ground before planting, how to organize the space and how to transplant the tiny vegetable plants bought at the local agraria.
I learnt how to recognize fungus and parasites on specific forums, Youtube, and thanks to local farmers.
Every year we work hard in our garden, many hours spent removing weeds and pruning the tomatoes (removing tomato suckers), while mosquitos bite our legs.
In Italy we say La terra è bassa, which translates literally ‘the ground is low’ and it means you have to bend down constantly and work hard, but I have to say is something very satisfying too. When you catch a cherry tomato directly from the plant, you eat it and you can still feel the warmth of the sun and taste its pungent sweetness.
Since I have a garden, I’ve always had a great production of cherry tomatoes and that’s why I started making Cherry Tomato Confit.
If you still don’t know them, they are cherry tomatoes halved and seasoned with salt, sugar and extra virgin olive oil and then baked at low temperature for a long time. In this way they lose some of their water, and they turn to be soft and sweet and delicious. A true delicacy to be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to ten days.
In this period they are a life-saver for weeknights dinner: they turn to be an amazing bruschetta on toasted bread; if you add them in a pan with some evoo and garlic, they become a great spaghetti sauce and they give an extra kick to a simple baked fish with potatoes. I do love them so much!
CHERRY TOMATO CONFIT
Ingredients for an oven tray of about 60 cm:
500 g cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
1.Carefully wash cherry tomatoes, let them dry and halve them.
2. Place the cherry tomatoes face up on one layer on a baking tray covered with baking sheets, sprinkle with salt and sugar and drizzle and generous evoo.
3.Remove the skin from the garlic cloves and dive each into three parts, and distribute them in the tray.
4. Bake at 130-150°C for about one hour and a half. The cherry tomatoes are ready when they are partially roasted, but still juicy and soft.
5. Remove the garlic pieces and put the cherry tomato confit in a jar together with the juices produced during the baking. Let it cool down and store in the fridge for up to ten days.
This post is also available in: Italian