Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Sun-blushed" Olives and Tomatoes with Chilli and Oregano

When I was about 17 or 18 my mum's friend told me about some "cheat's" sun blushed tomatoes you could make yourself by bunging cherry tomatoes in a warm oven overnight. I remember being fascinated by this idea and after that made them quite often to eat with Ryvitas.

I still occasionally pull these bad boys out of the bag as a bit of a yummy and healthy antipasto if we are having people over for Italian nosh but really not as often as I should. They are super yummy and sweet and have never failed to impress our guests.

Imagine my intrigue therefore to spot my lovely friend Hayley chowing down on some delicious "cheat's" sun blushed olives one lunchtime in the staff room. I tasted one (which turned into a few more than one) and they were amaaaaazing. She explained that her Italian future grandmother-in-law always makes them in the oven and I was suddenly hit by a fantastic idea - what about combining these two delicious treats!

I decided to try them out to give out for presents as part of our Christmas food hampers. They were really easy to make seeing as you basically put them in a warm oven and leave them for half a day. They tasted and looked lovely and I can't wait to give them out!

2 large jars of black olives
3 punnets of cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
2 bottles of Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 50 degrees C. Drain the olives and place in a large oven tray. Sprinkle liberally with the chilli flakes and a nice bit of salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place in another large oven tray. Sprinkle with the oregano and some salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

Place both trays in the oven for around 12 hours. Take them out every couple of hours and jiggle about or stir to make everything "shrivelling" at a similar speed. After the 12 hours, check that all the veg is looking nice and dried but still with a tiny bit of firmness left. 

Mix the olives and tomatoes together in one of the dishes and season to taste.

Transfer the olives and tomatoes to jars before filling with the oil and sealing well. A lovely Christmas treat with a Mediterranean twist - perfect for buffets!


  1. Could you do this with peppers as well?
    I love sun-blushed toms and peppers together.

  2. Yes! I'm sure peppers would work great, particularly if you grilled the skins then peeled them off before roasting.


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