title title title title title title title
title title title
Site Navigation
V "Sun" Dried Tomatoes

Adapted from Epicurean. Yields about 1 pint. Time can be up to 12 hours depending on amount of juice in the tomatoes. The herb mixture is optional. I usually do some plain and some with the herbs. You can also just sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt or Kosher salt. The Juliet tomatoes from the farm will work great for this, and since they are small, should take less time to dry.

Wash carefully and wipe dry 7 or 8 pounds of firm, ripe (preferably Roma) tomatoes. Cut out the stem and scar the hard portion of core lying under it. Cut the tomatoes in half, lengthwise. If the tomato is more than about 2 inches long, cut it in quarters. Scrape out all of the seeds that you can without removing the pulp. Arrange the tomatoes, with the cut surface up, on non-stick cookie sheets. Do *not* use aluminum foil, or bare aluminum cookie sheets. The acid in the tomatoes will react with the metal.

Mix together thoroughly:
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt.

Sprinkle a small amount of this mixture on each tomato.

Bake, cut side up, in 170° oven for about 3 hours. Leave the oven door propped open about 3 inches to allow moisture to escape. After 3 hours, turn the tomatoes over and press flat with your hand or a spatula. Continue to dry, turning the tomatoes every few hours, and gently pressing flatter and flatter, until tomatoes are dry. Be aware that not all of the tomatoes will dry at the same rate. They are done when they are very dry, but still pliable - about the texture of a dried apricot. If dried too long, they become tough and leathery. If not dried long enough, they will mold and mildew, unless packed in oil. Try to remove them on an individual basis, before they become tough.

To pack in oil:
Dip each tomato into a small dish of white wine vinegar. Shake off the excess vinegar and pack them in olive oil. Make sure they are completely immersed in the oil. When the jar is full, cap it tightly and store at *cool* room temperature for at least a month before using. They may be stored in the refrigerator, but the oil will solidify at refrigerator temperatures (it quickly reliquifies at room temperature however). As tomatoes are removed from the jar, add more olive oil as necessary to keep the remaining tomatoes covered. The vinegar treatment is the difference between a good dried tomato and a great one. It is also important from a food safety standpoint, as it acidifies the oil and discourages growth of bacteria and mold.
Do NOT add fresh garlic cloves to oil-packed dried tomatoes, UNLESS you store them in the refrigerator. Garlic is a low-acid food which, when placed in oil, creates a low-acid anaerobic environment - the perfect growth medium for botulinum bacteria if the mixture is not refrigerated. Botulism poisoning is characterized by a very high mortality rate. Be safe and add your garlic to the dried tomatoes as part of the recipe for them *after* they come out of the oil.