How to Oven Dry Sun Dried Tomatoes
We have an abundance of these pretty little heirloom cherry tomatoes. They are sooooo good!!! But, you can only eat so many salads and make so much tomato sauce and salsa. So I started drying these sweet little babies at home and packing them in olive oil to use for salad dressings, homemade cheese, salads, pasta salads, pasta sauces, etc.
I just happened to have a bunch of these heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes so that is what I used. Generally people use plum tomatoes or any tomato that isn't very juicy. I just had to leave these in the oven a little longer to get to the texture I was looking for.
Turn your oven as low as you can get it. My oven only goes to 170, but preferably 140 to 150 is perfect. Of course if you have a dehydrator by all means use it. I don't have one so this actually worked out really well.
Cut your tomatoes so the slices are no more than 1/3 inch thick. Line your sheet pan with a cookie rack, this way the air is able to circulate and dry the pieces of tomato evenly. Place your tomatoes on the cookie rack, they can be just touching but must be in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and bake in your oven for 7-10 hours. Depending on the lowest temperature you can achieve. It took me 7 hours at 170 to get mine the level of dryness I was looking to achieve. I left them in overnight and took them out in the morning. They were perfect.
I canned mine in olive oil. However, you could dry vacuum pack these just as easily Leave a little space at the top of the jar. I add a couple smashed garlic cloves. These were canned using a water bath method.
Use a smaller gift size jar, tie some raffia around the top and add your favorite sun dried tomato recipe for a unique homemade gift from your garden for the holidays.
Let us know how they turn out and post any recipes you have to share!