Our deck holds two grills, one gas, the other a Big Green Egg. Guess which one sits languishing in the corner? It’s not the Big Green Egg. In fact, I don’t think we’ve used the other since we got our egg about two years ago.
It was all meat at first on our egg — ribs, pork shoulder, salmon, chicken wings. Since we’ve got the protein covered, we’ve moved on. I’ve found that while the egg’s fired up, I like to throw on some veggies for a little grill and wood-smoke flavor. I may use them immediately or save them for another use, adding to other dishes to boost flavor. For example, if I have leeks on hand, I may grill them and then add them to a savory leek and gruyere custard.
But one of my favorite vegetable projects is smoking tomatoes. Once cooked, I incorporate the tomatoes to sauces, soups or other dishes and they really make the flavor pop. For a nice summery dish, add them to a salad of fresh corn kernels with basil and white balsamic vinegar.
To prepare the tomatoes, add a little wood to the egg and keep the temperature to 200-225°. Cut Roma tomatoes into quarters and place on a
small sheet pan (one that will fit in your egg) lined with parchment paper. Brush with a little olive oil and dust with salt and pepper. Smoke for about 3-4 hours. You could take them off at 2 hours if you’re in a hurry to use them.
If you’re not planning to use the tomatoes immediately, you can dry them in the smoker. Follow the same steps as above, but cut them into slices. After about 3 hours, flip the slices and let them cook for another 3 hours or until they are dried and crispy throughout.
You’ll need to watch your temperature more closely if you’re drying them. If you let the egg get much above 250°, the slices will start to burn. When you’re checking the tomatoes, be sure that they are completely dried
before removing them from the egg. You may need to pull them off in stages.
Once dried and cooled, put them in a jar covered with olive oil to preserve them. Use as needed and don’t forget to make use of the smoky olive oil, too!
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–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog