Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Sun Dried" Tomatoes

In our humid climate, I wouldn't even attempt to actually "sun" dry tomatoes, but I am blessed to have a nice dehydrator.  This can also be done in your oven. I will explain that shortly.  Above you see about 10 pounds of Roma tomatoes that I've washed and drained.

Cut each tomato into quarters.  Now, look, right to left here.  The 1st bit is just what they look like after cutting.  #2 has had the little greenish hard part cut off, and for #3,  I quickly scooped out the seeds with my thumb.  Do that to all of your tomatoes.

 Here is what they looked like after I prepared them this way:

Next, I started laying them out on the dehydrator trays, that are covered with the drying sheets that come with the dehydrator.  It is important to lay them with cut sides UP:

The next addition is minced fresh garlic.  Do you remember how I suggested you can peel it?  It makes it very easy.  This picture does not show how much garlic I used, but I believe it came to about 2 large cloves for each tray, and there were 5 trays altogether.  So, peel and mince the garlic!

The garlic was then sprinkled over the trays of tomatoes, and I also sprinkled them with dried oregano (fresh would be lovely, but I didn't have enough), sea salt, just a little freshly ground black pepper and a tiny drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

In my dehydrator, set at 135 F, it took about 15 hours to get them sort of leathery.  You may also lay them on trays in your oven, set at 250 F.  If you do this, put some little object (of the non-meltable variety) in a corner of the oven door to hold it open a little bit so the moisture can escape.  I do not know how long it will take in the oven, but probably a lot less than in a dehydrator.  When they are ready, they will look like this!

I packed them into sterilized jars:

The yield is 1.5 quarts.  Lastly, they have been covered with extra-virgin olive oil, covered with tight lids and will be stored in the refrigerator.

You can easily do this with just a few tomatoes or a great many!  If you live in a dry climate, just set your trays out in the sun, covered with cheesecloth to keep bugs and things out of there.

Sun-dried tomatoes are very rich in flavor and make a wonderful addition to pizza, salads, sandwiches, sauces, cheese balls... Be sure to use the olive oil as well.  It will be infused with delicious flavor.  Just pour it off as you use the tomatoes.  Enjoy this wonderful, economical, nutritious treat!

This post is linked with Traditional Tuesday!


  1. I have between 50 - 75 pounds of tomatoes to be worked today. This would be a great addition. How long do they keep like this?

    1. I really don't know, but I'm sure several months to a year. I am curious to find out if it would be possible to actually "can" these - process them in jars so they would be shelf stable. After all, that's what we can buy in the store, so there has to be a way!

    2. p.s. Another way to use some of that bumper crop is to make ketchup. I have some in the canner right now. I watched a Youtube video:


      I have some in the canner right now. It's really delicious and I cooked mine down overnight on low in an uncovered Crockpot.

  2. How long does it last for in the refrigerator? This looks great!

  3. Woops, I just saw you answered the same question earlier. Thanks <3

    1. :D I do the same thing, Rebekah. I post comments, then have to put a p.s. ! Glad I'm not alone! Good luck with your tomatoes.

  4. Will this work ok with all tomatoes? I have regular rutger type tomatoes and would like to use some of them to do this.

    1. Yes. Cut them into wedges, scoop out the seeds and proceed! They are "wetter" is all, so take a bit longer to dry.


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