Sun-Dried Tomatoes Without the Sun

Pretty self-explanatory, I think. I ran across this recipe on a lovely blog I found through Daring Bakers and I had to try it. The fact that I’m posting about them tells you that they turned out well, although they took a lot longer than I thought. The recipe suggests 8 hours in a warm oven, but mine took 12 hours in a warm oven and then an addition 8 after I turned the oven off and went to bed. They could have dried a tad bit longer, too, but I was antsy and took them out.The lady that posted this recipe lives in India. I guess this only takes 8 hours in India. Maybe I should have tried this in the summer when it isn’t rainy. And when tomatoes are in season. Yeah . . .

Anyway, they turned out delicious! They don’t have as strong of flavor as the store-bought ones do, so I may salt them a bit more next time. You can chop these puppies up and throw them in salads, on a pizza, as a soup garnish. Or buzz them up into Homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto! (There are six recipes in that pesto post where you can use the pesto!)

By the way, how do I label this? It’s not a meal, nor would you eat them like a snack. (Not me, anyway.) Steve thought it should be labeled as an “accessory”. I kinda like that. I’m leaning more towards a “how-to” label. Any suggestions?

Sun-dried Tomatoes Without the Sun

Ingredients:

16 plum/Roma tomatoes; cut into halves, or quarters if they are too big
2 T olive oil
2 T sugar
5 sprigs of thyme
4 cloves of garlic peeled
about a cup of extra virgin olive oil
Generous pinches of sea salt & black pepper
Red chili flakes (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven between 50-60C (see comment).

Place the cut tomatoes on baking sheets lined with parchment, cut sides up, & drizzle liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper & sugar.

Place into the pre-heated oven & leave to dry for at least 7-8 hours or until most of the moisture has gone. Be careful to leave some moisture in them so they taste nice & juicey when preserved. They should be roughly the consistency of raisins. If they are wet & sloppy, they are underdone; if they are dark & brown, they are overdone.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven & leave to cool until they can be easily handled.
While the tomatoes are cooling, you can sterilize a pint-sized mason jar. Wash it in hot soapy water, & place it upside down in a preheated oven at 50C. After 10 minutes remove it form the oven & leave it to cool.

Sprinkle a little salt & pepper into the jar, add the peeled garlic cloves, the thyme & the chilies/pepper.

Place the tomatoes in the jar, & pour enough olive oil to fully submerge them. They should keep for six months in the fridge as long as they are always covered in oil.

Nat’s Notes:
1. The temperature suggested is roughly 120 degrees F. Most household ovens just go down to 170. I dried my tomatoes at this temperature (170), and I thought it did fine. (I thought it would actually be faster if my oven was hotter than 120, but um . . . humidity is a huge factor, I think.)

featured on Passionate About Baking who found it on a television station website