One of the best things about cooking is the quest. A dish can always be better. It can always be tweaked. And of course, it can always be fucked up. But the pursuit is worth it.
I thought I knew the tricks for oven-drying tomatoes. I tossed halved tomatoes, usually sun gold or cherry or grape, with oil, salt and pepper. I would line up the tomatoes, cut-side up on a baking sheet, and let them slowly shrink and deflate in a low-temperature oven.
I always admired the results. And then Chris Jakubiec, chef of Plume and The Greenhouse in the Jefferson Hotel in DC, told me a trick. Place the tomatoes cut-side down on a cooling rack, over a baking sheet to catch the juice. The tomatoes remained juicy and finished quicker.
And while this method may cut it this summer, I’m still searching. It’s all about the quest, ya know.