Have you ever made homemade sun-dried tomatoes? Did you know they’re super easy and incredibly delicious? Sun-dried tomatoes add that extra “oomph” to your dishes: sweet and tangy, they explode with flavor. And these tiny bites of goodness cry “gourmet” on any plate.
And when making them yourself, you have the added satisfaction of knowing they’re fresh and what ingredients were added! It is also much cheaper to make them, rather than buying in the store. Pretty win-win, if you ask me!
Homemade Sun-dried Tomatoes
Now, tomatoes are not on the Dirty Dozen list, so purchasing organic is a matter of preference. I choose to purchase tomatoes non-organic but locally, if at all possible.
Since our time is precious, I prefer to make big batches of things (“Go big or go home, I say!”). So let’s start with five pounds of fresh, ruby red Roma tomatoes. (Your local farmer will adore you for buying them from him. And your son’s kindergarten teacher will be in awe of you when you hand her a beautiful jar of these babies at the Christmas party. But that’s the end of my hints! Let’s get down to it!) Five pounds of tomatoes will yield about two cups of sun-dried tomatoes.
Wash those tomatoes (or enlist one of your children to do so – mine aren’t quite at that age yet. Soon. I hope?). Cut the tomatoes length-wise and cut out the green stem-y part. Don’t bother scooping out the seeds! Go ahead and cut in half again.
So now you have a bunch of little fourths tomatoes. Happy little tomatoes!
Lay them flat and spread out on cake racks. If you don’t have cake racks you can use cookie sheets, you’ll just need to flip them over a bit more and switch the sheets around to ensure the hot, dry air is circulating well. Of course, you can also dry them in a dehydrator, but if you’re cheap, like me, the oven works just as well.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees at this point. If your oven doesn’t go this low, you’ll just need to keep an eye on them since they may cook a tad faster.
Pop them in the oven and plan for about 10-20 hours. I would suggest getting them started right before you go to bed and checking them first thing when you get up in the morning, flipping them and all.
You’ll know they’re done when they are flexible and leathery (brittle tomatoes indicate they’ve dried too much). Now, some of the pieces may be ready sooner than others. That’s ok. I promise. It just means you cut some pieces bigger than others or that some pieces had more water than others. Scoop off the ones that are done and lay flat to cool.
Once all the tomatoes are cool, you can put them in a large ziploc bag. Lay the bag flat so the tomatoes don’t clump together and freeze in one unbreakable tomato mass. Squeeze out any extra air (use a straw or a vacuum sealer…again, if you’re cheap like me, go with the straw).
Your super yummy sun-dried tomatoes may be stored in the freezer for up to one year. The shelf-life in the fridge is reduced to just a few weeks since the moisture will cause mold pretty quickly. So if you plan to keep some out for near-future recipes, just keep an eye on them!
I love these in an omelette! What will you add your tomatoes to?
Adapted from Pick Your Own.
This post was shared at KellytheKitchenKop’s Real Food Wednesdays.