Sun-Dried Tomatoes Without the Sun
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!)
Sun-dried Tomatoes Without the Sun
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)
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.
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.)
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