Sun dried tomatoes are a delicious addition to many meals, including salads, pizza, soups and so much more. While tomatoes are fresh off the vine, the sun dried flavor makes them take on a different, richer flavor. Today, I'm going to show you how easy it is to make your own!
Sun dried tomatoes are, obviously, tomatoes dried in the sun. This removes all of the water content. The process of sun drying can take anywhere from four to ten days to complete. If you are like me, you have several problems with that. First, it's hard to come up with that much room to dry them for that long of a time and second, I am too impatient to wait for almost two weeks. You are able to get the taste, but in only a few hours by using your oven at a very low temperature.
Placing the tomatoes at a low temperature gives them the drying effect without actually cooking them. This is a great way to use up tomatoes you get after harvesting a bunch of tomato plants or when you find a really great sale on tomatoes and aren't sure what to do with all of them. It is a very simple process, but is time consuming because you will be waiting (and watching) the oven for several hours.
Start by washing your tomatoes, then cutting them into halves or thirds. The smaller the tomato, the faster it will dry.
In a medium sized bowl, combine olive oil, garlic and salt. Toss sliced tomatoes in the mixture enough to ensure they are fully coated. Place on a baking sheet. Place in oven and allow to cook until dried. I started with cherry tomatoes and it took about five hours.
- 1-2 lbs tomatoes
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 Tbs Garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Begin by washing and patting dry your tomatoes. Depending on the type of tomatoes used will determine how you slice them. If you are using cherry tomatoes or the smaller variety, slice them in half. If you are using larger tomatoes you want to slice into at least thirds. The thicker your tomatoes, the longer they will take to dry out. After you slice them, place them face down on a paper towel for a minute or two to help drain out the excess water.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine olive oil, garlic and salt. Toss sliced tomatoes in the mixture enough to ensure they are fully coated.
- Place on a baking sheet. Place in oven and allow to cook until dried. The length of time it will take depends on how large your tomatoes are. I used cherry tomatoes and they cooked for five hours. I had some that were thicker than others, so as they dried, I removed them from the sheet. When dried, remove from oven, allow to fully cool before storing.
- Sun dried tomatoes have a long shelf life, if handled properly. Homemade sun dried tomatoes should be stored in the refrigerator. Place in an airtight container (or plastic bag) for six to nine months.
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