A summer issue of Real Simple included a recipe for oven-dried tomatoes (here is their recipe) and I loved the idea of making homemade “sun-dried” tomatoes with all of the fresh Farmers market tomatoes I had on hand. All you do is pop the tomatoes in the oven and cook them low and slow until they become these flavor-packed little gems.
This began my weekly batch of fresh dried tomatoes baked in my oven. Every batch has been different using slightly different tomatoes or herbs.
For the last few weeks, this is how I make them:
(This makes about one medium jar’s worth of tomatoes)
- Pre-heat your oven to 300°F. Place two-pounds of cleaned and halved-tomatoes (plum or I really like Sunset Campari tomatoes from my local grocer) seed side up on a wire rack placed inside a lined baking sheet (to make clean-up a breeze!) I spray the wire rack with cooking spray for easy removal of the baked tomatoes.
- Sprinkle salt and Herbes De Provence (a traditional blend of thyme, fennel, basil, savory and lavender) on each tomato. (If you don’t usually cook with Herbes De Provence, you’ll find it in the spice aisle of your grocery store. I typically pick mine up at Trader Joe’s)
- Place the tomatoes in the oven (I recommend the third rack) for about 3-4 hours. I’ve found that with my oven and the size of tomatoes I typically use, 3 1/2 hours does the trick and I sometimes cover the tomatoes with a foil tent about 3 hours in.
- Remove the tomatoes and let them cool completely on the rack. Once cooled, place in a glass jar and cover with extra virgin olive oil. I fill the jar about 1/3 of the way with olive oil and press the tomatoes down gently so that some are submerged. Add a lid and store in the fridge for up to a couple weeks.
I’ve been adding these flavor-rich tomatoes to everything from sandwiches and quesadillas to pasta and shrimp dishes. They also add a colorful punch to an appetizer spread. Looking for new ideas for your next dinner party? Bring a jar as a hostess gift and or make a big batch and hand them out as little holiday gifts for colleagues or neighbors.
Do you make homemade “sun-dried” tomatoes? If so, do you have a favorite way to make them?