I’ve never understood why chefs disparage sun-dried tomatoes. And that is coming from someone who has historically been seriously averse to the fruit. (Yes, tomatoes are fruit.)
In the early 90s, haute cuisine was awash with the ingredient, especially in California. I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in that period of cuisine when I went to visit my uncle (and take my first trip to Disneyland) in 1992.
My uncle, who was always very hip, took us to a new restaurant (perhaps you have heard of it: California Pizza Kitchen). Back then, there were only a few locations, all of them in the Sunshine State. Their menu was full of dishes with sun-dried tomatoes, not to mention cilantro (another ingredient I love).
Even though I didn’t really like tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes had a special something that really added zip to whatever dish they were in. I believe we had them on a pizza, but it may have been a pasta. (1992 was a looong time ago….) I really liked it.
Fast forward to just a few weeks ago and I decided that I wanted to use the tomatoes I got in my farm share, but I was struggling with how. I looked into it and learned I could easily make sun-dried tomatoes: Simply cut and core the fruits, drizzle with olive oil (and spices, if you so desire) and roast for at least an hour at 200 degrees. (I think mine cooked for about 2 hours.) Then, voila, you have homemade sun-dried tomatoes!
Not only are they easy to make, but they store relatively well. Throw the toms in a jar or something else that can be sealed and cover with olive oil. Store in the fridge and use as you will.
I used my little guys for a delicious Bacon-Crusted Quiche. I make this dish a lot, but never with these particular ingredients.
Pardon my immodesty, but it was truly the best quiche I’ve ever made. And that I have ever eaten.
Bacon-Crusted Quiche with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Kale
1 lb. bacon
7-8 organic brown eggs (these are my have, but use what you want)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Cheese (optional: use as much or as little as you want. For this recipe, I used a little bit of parmesan cheese.)
5-6 sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup kale leaves
Turn on broiler to high. Cook bacon partially (5 to 8 minutes).
While cooking bacon, whisk eggs, salt and pepper, sub-dried tomatoes and cheese together.
In an oven-safe frying pan/skillet, line bacon along the bottom. Top with kale leaves and return to broiler for a few minutes. Remove from oven and place on stove. Add egg mixture and cook until not quite set (the top will be kind of liquify). Throw back under the broiler and cook until eggs are firmed up.