When I find myself with more tomatoes than counter-space to store them on, I have several options (in addition to sharing them with friends): make sauce, freeze them, or make sun-dried tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes are one of my favorite foods, many never make it from the oven into the jars (any ‘imperfection’ is a good excuse for me to eat it immediately). I store them in pretty little jars that I enjoy using and also make great gifts throughout the year.
Any tomato will work for drying. Small ones can be cut in half, large ones in quarters – make sure you place them skin down on the baking tray. The process takes a l-o-n-g time, so only do this when you will be around for a full day. I often find that I have not-quite-done ones that have to sit in the oven (with the heat off) overnight until I wake up and can finish drying them out. I would not suggest leaving the oven on overnight, you don’t want to put all that time in only to over-dry the tomatoes.
I store the jars of tomatoes in oil in the pantry. Once I open one, I keep it in the fridge. The oil will solidify, but that is ok.
An added treat – the oil left over in the jars after you use the tomatoes can be use for cooking as an infused oil – yum!
‘Sun-Dried’ Tomatoes in the Oven
Tomatoes, cut in half or quartered
Olive Oil, I only use extra virgin
Heat the oven to between 170 and 200F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Place the cut tomatoes skin-side down on the foil.
Place the tray in the oven and let the tomatoes dry out for hours. The time will vary depending upon how much moisture is in the tomatoes and how big the pieces are. I usually plan on at least 8 hours, but it can be more. Just check them every hour or so after that to see how they are progressing.
Once the tomatoes are dried, remove from oven and cool.
Store in jars, fill the far with olive oil. Enjoy!
- homemade pizza. (goshery.typepad.com)
- Roasted Squash and Sun Dried Tomato Penne (thefirstrep.com)
- white beans with potatoes, kalamata olives, and sun-dried tomatoes (foodiejoanie.wordpress.com)