How to Make Your Own ‘Sun’ Dried Tomatoes
Okay, so maybe they aren’t dried by the sun exactly. They may not be dried in the beautiful sun rays of Italy but they are oven-dehydrated – which makes them even jucier and intense with flavour. This way you are able to choose exactly how you like them. Try a batch and preserve them in oil – they make the perfect homemade gift. Be sure to start the process in the morning as it will take 12 hours for the dehydration process to occur (but it’s worth it!).
What you’ll need:
1 kg firm ripe roma tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
Olive oil for storage
2 large jars
Step 1: Prepping the Tomatoes
Cut out the stem and the hard portion of core under it. Cut the tomatoes in half, lengthwise. If the tomato is more than about 2 inches long, cut again into quarters. Scrape out all of the seeds that you can without removing too much of the pulp.
In a small bowl, mix together thoroughly basil,oregano, thyme, and salt. Sprinkle a small amount of this mixture on each tomato.
Step 2: Oven-drying
This takes around 12 hours. Arrange the tomatoes with the cut surface up, on baking trays sprayed lightly with cooking oil (do not line with foil or baking paper).
Bake in 75°C oven for about 3 hours. Leave the oven door propped open about 3 inches to allow moisture to escape.
After 3 hours, turn the tomatoes over and press flat with a spatula. Continue to dry (do not turn the oven off), turning the tomatoes every few hours, and gently pressing flatter and flatter, until tomatoes are dry. Watch them carefully as they may not take the entire 12 hours- tomatoes all dry at a different rate so remove the ones you think are ready. Do not let them get to tough and leathery. Feel free to try them as you go! Nothing wrong with a little chef’s snack.
Step 3: Preserving the tomatoes
Cool the tomatoes to room temperature. Transfer them to 2 large jars (or other glass storage container), and cover with good quality olive oil, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.