For small batches using mini tomatoes, my 10cm wide cast iron pan works well. Regardless of size, fit the tomatoes snugly in a single layer. A heat diffuser mat is handy to keep the pan on constant, low heat. Aim to gently poach, rather than simmer.
The beauty of this dish isn’t just the perfectly cooked tomatoes that can be used in a variety of ways but the flavoursome herb infused oil, that’s utterly addictive.
Tomatoes, enouh to fit in a single layer in your frying pan
Olive oil, to at least half cover the tomatoes
Garlic, at least 3 or more cloves
Sea salt, depending on amount of tomatoes, a generous teaspoon
Handful of fresh basil, thyme or dill
Add all the ingredient to a heavy based pan and cook on low for about 30 minutes (longer if using bigger tomatoes). Ideally the tomatoes have begun to split and release some juices but still remain whole.
Once cool, store in a very clean, covered glass jar. Refrigerate and use within a week.
Uses for braised tomatoes
The oil (with or without the softened garlic):
- on fresh bread or toast
- in salad dressing (with vinegar or lemon)
- instead of olive oil in any savoury dressings
- to flavour mash
- drizzled on top or rice or other grains.
The tomatoes (with or without garlic):
- any dish you’d use cooked tomatoes
- in salads combining raw and cooked ingredients
- whizzed (with the garlic, a little oil and additional herbs) as an instant sauce for pasta, grains or any time you need a rich tomato sauce.