Sun-drying is an excellent way to get the most out of freshly picked tomatoes in the summertime! When you dehydrate them, their flavor becomes a concentrated bite of purely sweet and tangy flavor. These are a perfect addition to so many dishes such as salads, pasta, pizza, and so much more. While the traditional method of doing this in the sun is hard without proper equipment and weather conditions, you can still acheive the same effect in your kitchen! By simply setting your oven to a lower temperature and letting time do most of the work, you can be on your way to having restaurant-quality flavor in your meals. These stay in the fridge for up to 10 days. You can also freeze these to keep for about three months. A jar of freshly picked sun-dried tomatoes is also a great gift for someone who likes to cook! Feel free to play with any combination of herbs you like! Make it with no herbs, add in a bay leaf, or make it spicy. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
- at least 2 pints of cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups, halved)
- salt & pepper (to taste, remember that the tomatoes reduce in size)
- 1/2 tsp of chopped fresh or dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp of chopped fresh or dried thyme
- olive oil (only if storing fresh)
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and arrange the halved cherry tomatoes skin side down on a dry sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Only season with salt at this point. Set a timer for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, carefully take the sheet pan out and season the tomatoes with oregano and thyme or your choice of herbs. Put back in the oven to cook for another 1.5 – 2 hours or until the tomatoes are completely dried. Keep an eye to make sure they do not burn.
- Let cool on a rack before freezing or jarring.
To store in the fridge: Place in a jar and fill the jar with enough olive oil to just cover all of the tomatoes. Pat dry when using or use the jar’s olive oil while cooking (it tastes so good!)
To freeze: Keep the tomatoes in a flat even layer on a baking sheet and freeze like that for about 3 hours. Once frozen, shake them loose and put in a baggy, then back in the freezer.