tapas time! oven-dried tomato and goat cheese salsa

Many years ago, I used to really like this tapas restaurant back home called Bin 941.  I don’t think I’ve been there in at least 8 years, but to be fair, I haven’t really been in Vancouver that much in these past 8 years.  One of my favourite tapas there was the house dried tomato and goat cheese salsa served with Navajo fry bread and this recipe is based on that plate.  I made this last year to snack on while watching the Oscars (I’m a total nerd and I love watching award shows) and we decided to make it again for the Oscars last night.  (Side note, if you haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave yet, you must!)   Anyway, just know that this is super easy to make but it does take at least a few hours for the tomatoes to dry so this is not something you can toss together last minute.

at least 8 roma tomatoes  (the tomatoes will shrink down quite drastically as they dry!)  /  oregano  /  salt  /  pepper  /  extra virgin olive oil  /  ~50 grams goat cheese  (or use more; goat cheese is awesome)  /  naan bread, warmed and cut into wedges to serve with (Rock loves naan bread plus I’m not wanting to bother making fry bread today, though that is a craving that’s been creeping up on me… naan suits this just fine.)

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Preheat the oven to 225F.  Halve the tomatoes and then remove (sorry I don’t know what this is called) the part where the stem would have attached plus the core, all the seeds and juice.  Scatter them on a baking sheet with the inside of the tomato halves facing up.  Drizzle with the olive oil and then sprinkle oregano, salt and pepper over.  I’m afraid I don’t have measurements for the seasonings but I trust your judgement.  Pop into the oven for about 3 and a half hours or so.  You can leave them in for longer if you want them to dry out more but I personally don’t want them super dry and leathery, plus I really don’t have that kinda patience.

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After the tomatoes have cooled down, this is super, suuuuper lazy so please don’t judge me, but just plop them into a bowl, take a pair of kitchen scissors and just snip away at them until they’re still just a little bit chunky.  This is my own shortcut but you can always be nice and proper and chop them up with a knife.  Take a spoon and just kind of flake some goat cheese over the tomatoes and gently mix together.  I wanted to make it look pretty just for fun so I just smoothed the salsa into a flat-bottomed bowl and then tipped it over a plate so it had a bit of shape to it.  You really don’t have to do that though and you can just serve it in a bowl.  Then take a couple heaping tablespoons of the goat cheese and just roll into a ball and place on top.  And just to finish it, I dotted the plate with some balsamic glaze, again just for fun.

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Eat with some warmed up naan bread and that’s that!  The tomatoes are really sweet from being dried and they go really well with goat cheese.  Don’t let the long drying time deter you, definitely give this a try.

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