Tuesday, September 11

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

The tomato season is almost coming to a close, but there is a way to preserve their flavor for a little longer. This recipe for oven-dried tomatoes is a cheat on sundried but yields the same result. The tomatoes get pressed to remove some of their liquid and then get slowly dried in a low oven until their flavor concentrates and they shrivel up into bite-size morsels. They can be packed in olive oil (my preference) and kept in an air-tight container for at least a month, but I doubt they’ll last that long. A jar makes a cute gift for friends and the olive oil and can be saved and used in salad dressings or drizzled onto roasted meat or veggies. 

Oven-Dried Tomatoes:
  • Slice 1 lb. of roma tomatoes* length-wise into 1/2" thick slices.
  • Place in an even layer on a paper towel-lined cutting board, cover with another layer of paper towels, and then cover with another heavy cutting board.
  • Let sit for 20-30 minutes, then remove weights and towels and place in an even row on a baking rack over a baking sheet.**
  • Sprinkle with fresh thyme, then bake in a 200F oven for 4-5 hours, or until dried to your liking.
  • Let cool completely, then store in a jar covered with olive oil or keep in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Makes 24-36 dried tomatoes
*Roma or plum tomatoes contain less moisture and dry better than other varieties.
**The rack is necessary to drying the tomatoes on all sides, otherwise the tomatoes will bake in their own juice and never dry out.