View Full Version : Sun-dried Tomatoes



Kitchen Witch
February 19th, 2006, 04:22 PM
Sun Dried Tomatoes

In Italy, ripe plum tomatoes are dried in the hot sun. When dried, they look like shriveled red chili peppers and are wonderfully flavored since the drying process intensifies their natural sweetness and flavor.

Sun dried tomatoes should be used to give an extra flavor punch to a recipe instead of as a main ingredient. For example, a tablespoon or two will flavor a pasta dish for four. They can be used without additional cooking in garlicky pasta sauces, pizza, pasta salads, and with strongly flavored vegetables like broccoli or chicory. They work well in stir fries with chicken, beef, and shrimp or in rice, pasta, and grain salads.
Sun dried tomatoes are sold either loose in packages or packed in oil and are quite expensive. You can make them yourself by drying the tomatoes and varying the flavorings to suit your taste, using any combination of herbs that pleases you.
If you live in a sunny, dry climate you can dry tomatoes outdoors. Otherwise, an oven will do a fine job.

To Dry Plum Tomatoes in the Oven

Select perfect, ripe fresh Italian plum tomatoes.
Cut each in half and open like a book. Cut out the seeds, trim the stems, and cut out any blemishes.
Preheat the oven to 220°F. Place the tomatoes on racks on baking sheets. Sprinkle tomatoes lightly with salt. Bake for 7 hours. Rotate baking sheets in the oven during cooking time and remove smaller tomatoes as they dry.
Cool tomatoes and fold them closed.

To Dry Cherry Tomatoes

These smaller tomatoes are for pastas, pizzas, sauces, or garnishes.

Preheat oven to 450°F for 20 minutes.
Cut fresh red or yellow cherry tomatoes in half. Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil and place the tomatoes on the sheet, cut-sides up. If desired, sprinkle with herbs.
Place tomatoes in oven. Turn oven down to 350°F leave for 2 hours or until dried to your taste.

Storing Dried Tomatoes

After tomatoes have been dried, you can store them in an herb-flavored oil. To do this, pack dried tomatoes tightly in 1/2 pint jars with a layer of fresh herbs in between two layers of tomatoes. Cover with olive oil. Run a knife around the tomatoes to help air escape. Seal jars and store at room temperature for several months for best flavor.
After you've finished the tomatoes, you can reuse the remaining tomato flavored oil in pasta salads and for sautéing fresh vegetables.

beaconkennel
April 21st, 2011, 09:08 PM
This method also works for drying wild morel mushrooms. We had to use or throw our bunch my fiance' picked so I dried them. Took 3 hours total, but they were soggy from being in salt water a little too long.:)

grehamjones01
July 6th, 2011, 05:38 AM
Sun dried tomatoes are sold either loose in packages or packed in oil and are quite expensive. You can make them yourself by drying the tomatoes and varying the flavorings to suit your taste, using any combination of herbs that pleases you.

almonds
July 7th, 2011, 12:03 AM
Can sun-dried tomatoes be stored without oil? Maybe frozen?? Or, maybe just vacuum sealed in plastic bags? I'm trying to figure a way to store & use these without the extra oil.
Also, thanks for posting the info as to how to dry them, I've wondered for a long time how it's been done. Now I can't wait for my tomato crop to 'grow up'.

Insanity
July 7th, 2011, 01:13 AM
http://www.smileycons.com/img/classic/0054.gifSince ya' guys brought it up...
I gotta admit that I've had sun-dried tomatoeshttp://www.smileycons.com/img/classic/0464.gif, and I found them annoying coz of the toughness of their skins. They are very chewy and hard to munch on.
So is it just me ? Have I just gotten bad sun-dried tomatoes, and other brands or types aren't so tough to chew on ? I'll admit, I love their burst of tomato flavor, but the texture really bugs me.
So, is there a way to soften the skins better ?:confused:

missik999
July 7th, 2011, 01:16 AM
What brand did you try? Maybe you should try a different one, as the ones I buy are very good with soft skins.

almonds
July 7th, 2011, 01:28 AM
Is it possible to re-hydrate sun-dried tomatoes? I know they'll never get back to their original form but...any ideas?