With summer’s tomato bounty continuing, what is one to do with those bushels of ripe tomatoes? Make your own sun dried (oven dried) tomatoes!
If you’re like us at Get Cheffy, you sneer at the price tag associated with store bought sun dried tomatoes (12 bucks for a little jar?…it’s not happening). Follow the easy steps below to turn fresh tomatoes into their more flavorful cousins; the sun dried tomato.
- 4-5 pounds tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
- We used roma tomatoes, but plum tomatoes, or any other type of medium sized tomato will work best. You can use larger varieties, like beefsteak and larger heirlooms, but you’ll need to quarter them, instead of halving them, as the instructions below dictate.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon table salt
- 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1-2 cups vegetable oil
- Begin by turning your oven to 425 degrees. Spray one large, or two smaller, wire racks with vegetable oil spray and place them into one large, or two smaller, baking sheets. In a large bowl, combine your halved and cored tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, salt and pepper, and gently work the mixture together with your hands. Place each tomato, cut side down, on your prepared wire racks and roast for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.
- After 20 minutes, reduce your oven temperature down to 300- 275 degrees (depending on your oven strength). Roast for an additional 30 minutes.
- After an additional 30 minutes, remove your tomatoes from the oven, and flip each tomato so the cut side is now facing up. Once you’ve flipped all tomatoes over, and their cut sides are facing up, continue to roast at 300-275 degrees until tomatoes are visibly darkened, and dried (3-4 hours). Rotate, your tray(s) at the 1.5/2 hour mark.
- After your tomatoes have roasted, remove them from the oven, and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place your tomatoes in a mason jar, tupperware, or other non-reactive container, and cover with plain vegetable oil. If you have any fresh herbs in your garden, put a stalk of fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs into your jars with your tomatoes. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
GET CHEFFY TIP!– Want to incorporate additional flavor profiles into your tomatoes? In step #1, toss your tomatoes with 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary, and 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme. Keep in mind that, like the tomatoes themselves, the flavors of dried herbs will concentrate even more as they cook; you’ll notice a marked flavor difference in the final product that will incorporate into any application your tomatoes are used in. Mix and match, and play with any dried herbs you like best.