If you like sun-dried tomatoes but want to make them at home, this is the recipe for you. These homemade oven-dried tomatoes taste just like the store-bought sun-dried version, but at a fraction of the cost. Plus, homemade is always better!
Fresh Roma (Plum) Tomatoes were heavily discounted at my local supermarket recently so I knew I had to make something with them. I love tomatoes; in fact, I have to eat tomatoes in some shape or form every single day. They’re an amazing vegetable (okay, technically they’re fruits). When raw they’re juicy and refreshing, perfect for salad. But cook them just a little bit and you unlock a whole different range of flavours that never ceases to amaze me. Combine them with various herbs, sugar, acids, and other ingredients and you get something new. Simply put: tomatoes are magical.
I bought a whole lot of discounted tomatoes and decided to do a little experiment: I wanted to recreate sun-dried tomatoes at home without a dehydrator. I’ve always wanted a dehydrator, but they tend to be expensive, bulky and use a lot of electricity. Trying to dry them the old-fashioned way in the sun is out of the question since I live in the Vancouver area and the sun is a very rare sight here. The only option left was using the good old oven to dry some tomatoes.
I washed the tomatoes very well, preheated my oven, sliced them up and baked them until they got all dry and leathery. I took them out, and before I knew it, I had snacked on half of these; that’s how delicious they are! These are perfect for a variety of recipes, which I intend to try in the upcoming weeks.
- Fifteen fresh Roma (a.k.a. plum) tomatoes
- Half a cup of olive oil
- One tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- One tablespoon Italian herb mix (optional; I didn’t even use any the first time around)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Wash the tomatoes thoroughly and dry them
- Slice them lengthwise into thin slices, they shouldn’t be more than half a centimetre thick.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, brush the paper with about two tablespoons of olive oil or more until the surface has a thin layer of oil on it.
- Arrange the tomato slices on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the salt and herbs (if using) onto the tomato slices, then with a tablespoon drizzle some olive oil on each slice individually. Make sure all the slices get a generous amount of olive oil on top.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, turning the baking sheet half-way through.
- After 25 minutes, reduce the heat to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking them for 2.5 hours, or until they have all dried up and resemble store-bought sun-tomatoes. Check on them regularly to avoid burning.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight glass jar covered in olive oil in a cool, dark place. These can probably last a few weeks in the fridge or in a cool place. Use them as you would sun-dried tomatoes in pasta or other recipes. Enjoy!
Have you ever made homemade sun-dried or oven-dried tomatoes? What was your method? What are your favourite recipes using sun-dried tomatoes? Let me know in the comments!
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