How to Make Sun Dried Tomatoes

 

Sun Dried Tomatoes

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Seasoned Sun Dried Tomatoes packed in good olive oil is a great addition to your food storage system.

They taste great in salads and other dishes, as well as giving some variety from tomato sauce, salsa, and paste.

This is a simple recipe and if you can grow tomatoes, you can make this recipe.

How to Make Sun Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
    • Any quantity, ripe, but not over ripe. Yield varies depending upon the moisture content of the tomatoes. Paste tomatoes (Roma) work best and typically yield 2 cups of dried tomatoes for each 5 lbs of fresh.
  • Olive oil
  • Spices (garlic, basil, salt)

Equipment:

one of the following:

  • Oven OR
  • Food dehydrator OR
  • Car on a hot sunny day

Procedure:

  • Fist, slice the tomatoes
  • If you desire season the tomatoes with sea salt, kosher salt and/or some spices (typically basil).
  • Next, dry them using one of several methods
  • Then, when done, the tomatoes should be flexible, like a raisin from a fresh bag; not brittle. Most describe them as leathery with a deep red color, without free water or a tacky feeling. The first time I did this, I dried them too much and they did not absorb the oil very well.
  • Finally, fill a mason jar with the slices and top to 1 inch of head space with oil. (I also like to throw in a little basin and garlic in the jar)

Drying Methods

Drying with a Food dehydrator:

  • Arrange the pieces on each rack so that air can circulate, preferably with the pieces not touching each other, but there’s no need to become obsessive about it. Turn the dehydrator on and enjoy the aroma. If your food drier has a thermostat, set it for 140 degrees F. It will take 3 to 8 hours.

Drying in an Oven:

  • preheat the oven to 150 degrees F (65 degrees C or gas mark 1). If you don’t have these settings, just use the lowest setting you’ve got. Arrange the tomatoes on cake racks, spread out, not touching each other. Cookie sheets will work if you don’t have cake racks or screens – but you need to flip or stir the tomatoes once in a while to expose the other side of them.. Close the oven. It takes about 10 to 20 hours, but you’ll need to check periodically, including rotating the shelves and moving them up or down to get even heating.

Drying Using an Automobile and a hot sunny day:

  • Spread the tomato slices out on shallow trays. Cover them loosely with cheesecloth to keep any potential for bugs to come in contact. Put the trays on the dashboard of your car and roll all the windows up and park in the sunniest spot you’ve got. It’s best to start in the morning and let it go to sunset. It may take 2 days – bring the tomatoes in the house overnight.
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