Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sun-dried or Oven-dried Tomatoes

I usually grow a lot of tomatoes because they are delicious, good with so many dishes, and I like their flavor very much. One of the ways I like to enjoy tomatoes is to dry them in the sun. This is an easy way to preserve them and bring out their tangy flavor.




With the temperatures ranging between 90 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit, this is perfect weather for drying tomatoes.

Method for Sun Drying:

Lightly grease cookie sheets or shallow pans.

Slice tomatoes about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick (if you slice too thinly, the slices will be too thin to be of substance).

Spread slices in pans.

Place pans in a very sunny area for two to three days. (You can store the pans in the oven overnight.)

If you are worried about insects or debris, place a screen or fine netting over the pans without touching the tomatoes.



Method for Oven Drying

Sprinkle cut sides of tomatoes with salt. Place tomatoes on cheesecloth or dishtowel to drain for one hour.

Lightly grease cookie sheets or shallow pans.

Spread slices in pans.

Place pans in an oven at a temperature of 130 degrees to 165 degrees Fahrenheit for six to 12 hours.




The tomatoes are dry when there is no more moisture in the slices. The tomatoes will not be crispy but stiff and pliable like fruit roll-ups.



You can use them in salads, soups, casseroles, and other dishes. In most cases, the tomatoes need to be reconstituted by soaking in water for about 30 minutes. Instead of water, broth, wine, or some other sauce can be used to reconstitute. In salads and pastas, the dry tomatoes can be chopped and sprinkled over the salad or pasta dish.



I usually freeze my sun-dried tomatoes, but they can also be packed in oil. To pack them in oil, fill a sterilized jar with tomatoes and oil. Garlic and herbs may be added as well.

I am joining A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa for Simple Lives Thursday.
©Michelle A. Potter


44 comments:

  1. Oh my, I have got to try this. So economical.

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  2. I have always wondered how to do this! Thank you!!! First time here- glad to have found you! (by way of Rock Rose).

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  3. I never heard about this before, so i learn something new and interesting today. I must try this. TQVM for sharing and thanks for visiting my blog and leave the comments.

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  4. Great info, I'll be giving this a try (if the tomatoes ever get ripe).

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  5. I never dried them, but will now. Love you instructions, so easy to follow, but I will probably use the oven method, the squirrels will have no problem with the screening.

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  6. I do this every year and store the toms in olive oil. Living in Scotland we have to use the oven method (there's a surprise!)
    Lovely clear instructions, I can almost taste them!

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  7. I once dried them behind the windscreen of my car, facing South, window open for ventilation, covered with muslin to keep off flies. They were fab!

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  8. Oh my God this looks so good and i`m sure that it is delicious too. I think that this is a easy recipe so i will give it a try, thanks a lot for sharing.

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  9. I am having some difficulty in trying to leave a comment, but just to say your tomatoes look delicious and the post serves as a reminder for me to try it again after not bothering for a while.

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  10. Great post! I love sun-dried tomatoes and keep meaning to make them but never seem to get around to it. I think this is the inspiration I needed to get to it!

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  11. I did this with my extra cherry tomatoes last year, but wasn't sure how to actually use them in cooking. Thanks for the info! :)

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  12. What a timely post. My tomatoes are just beginning to turn red and hubby talked about the possibility of drying them this year. I've never tried this before but I'm looking forward to it.

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  13. Very interesting recipe, I have not tried this before, but will definitely have to! Thanks for your reply to my post. With the raccoon pictures, I was on my deck, which is very high up and then I had a zoom lens that really works well, especially if it is a sunny day, which is was! My husband was very impressed with the pictures when I showed them to him! I was pretty proud! Thanks for sharing the recipe for the tomatoes! Happy Gardening! Mindy

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  14. @Lola I have found it an easy way to preserve my tomatoes.

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  15. @kacky I am so glad you liked the post. Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. @Adele Stevens Here's hoping your tomatoes ripen very soon!

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  17. @gardenwalkgardentalk.com I dry mine on the deck...so far no squirrel problems....cross my fingers.

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  18. @Janet Sometimes when there are lots of cloudy days, I dry them in the oven. Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. @Bridget That sounds like a great idea. It gets even hotter...great tip!

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  20. @elaine rickett Thanks, Elaine. I like preserving them so I have some of my homegrown tomatoes all year round.

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  21. @The Ebullient Gardener I am glad you liked the post. Now, I can see how you got those amazing photos. And thanks for visiting.

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  22. I have never dried tomatoes, in the oven or otherwise, but if I have a lot of leftovers, I'm going to try it. Especially because you can freeze them. Great post, thanks!

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  23. I tried the oven method last year, but without much success. The tomatoes eventually spoiled, probably because they weren't dried enough. Reading through your directions, I see some important steps that I may have omitted. Maybe I'll give them a try again this year--sun-dried tomatoes are so expensive in the store!

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  24. I oven-dried some cherry tomatoes last season but over-cooked them in the oven. They were too crunchy to comfortably eat so I whizzed them, oil and all, in a blender. Add the mixture to pesto for a really tasty, different flavor.

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  25. What about putting the tomatoes in a jar sans oil? Is there any reason this shouldn't keep through the winter?

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  26. @Bumble Lush In the cooler months, I like these on salads. Freezing is so easy.

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  27. @Rose When you touch and squeeze the tomatoes, their should be no moisture left in the tomato. Although they are pliable, they are dry. Good luck!

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  28. @joene That sounds so delicious! What a great way to salvage something that went wrong!

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  29. @Becky Becky, I have never tried this. I usually keep some in the freezer and some in the refrigerator....but only about two months in the refrigerator. They probably will be fine for more than that. Let me know if you try it.

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  30. Wow those looks beautiful. Drying tomatoes is not common here in the tropics, maybe because fresh tomatoes are available whole year, unlike dried cassava or those for souring dishes. But they look as good also for just eating like chippies. I might try it.

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  31. How easy!! Since I didn't plant tomatoes but was gifted a few by the compost angels, I'm not sure if I'll have enough to dry. They get eaten pretty quickly here. Only one of my mystery tomatoes is a big slicer. Thanks for this recipe!

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  32. These look wonderful! I can't wait to try this out!

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  33. I love sun-dried tomatoes, but 6 to 12 hours in an oven (!) seems like the cost of the electricity or gas you'd use would exceed the cost of the tomatoes. I'd worry about tiny bugs that could infiltrate screening.

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  34. @Andrea Good luck! I don't know if I would need to dry them either if I had them year round.

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  35. @Casa Mariposa Those tomatoes from the compost angels are really special, aren't they? You are very welcome!

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  36. @Rohrerbot It works so well for soups, salads, and casseroles. Enjoy!

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  37. @Connecticut Blogger The oven method does seem costly and like a bother. I usually stick with the sun-drying method. I have not had any bug problems.

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