Sun-Dried Tomatoes

By • August 8, 2012 • 7 Comments

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Author Notes: Sun-dried tomatoes are easy to buy at the store, but turns out they're a cinch to make at home. My recipe is for making a small number of sun-dried tomatoes, but as long as you've got oven space, why not double or triple the number of tomatoes you dry?

Once the tomatoes have dried out, you have two options: you can store them dry, in a baggie, or in garlic-infused olive oil. I haven't given instructions for safely canning sundried tomatoes in oil--I store them in oil in the fridge anyway.
Cara Eisenpress

Makes one 8-ounce jar

  • 1 pound plum tomatoes (5-6)
  • a few pinches coarse salt
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Place a metal rack on a baking sheet.
  2. Cut each tomato in thirds lengthwise. Each slice should be about 1/3-inch thick.
  3. Sprinkle salt on the cut sides of the tomatoes--not more than you'd want to eat though! Line a cutting board with a dish towel or paper towels and place the tomatoes on top. Top with another dish towel and another cutting board. Weight with a heavy cookbook or two. The Food52 Cookbook or Essential New York Times Cookbook are good options. Leave for 20 minutes. This helps get some of the tomato's juices out early, before they go in the oven.
  4. Remove the tomatoes from the cutting board sandwich, dusting off any salt that hasn't dissolved, and place them on the rack, with at least 1 inch in between. Sprinkle with the fresh thyme.
  5. Bake for about 5 hours, until the tomatoes are dry to the touch and have wrinkled around the edges. You can really decide how dry you want them--as dry as raisins? or do you want to leave a little plumpness? Watch them (and try them) as they cook, and decide for yourself. When done, remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  6. If you're going to be storing your tomatoes in olive oil, place the olive oil and garlic in a small jar while the tomatoes are cooking, and let the garlic steep to flavor the oil.
  7. When the tomatoes are cool, add them to the oil. If not using oil, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
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about 1 month ago Beth

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like OP is available to answer questions, but I should be able to help you guys.

LittleFrier - You can do either, depending on how garlicky you like your tomatoes.
When I make them, I will leave the whole cloves (usually 3-6, depending on how many jars I've made) in the oil.

Maureen ONeal, akrainey, and Miles - They will keep refrigerated or frozen for anywhere from 6-9 months (I've even seen 18 months, but it seems like a bit of a stretch). It's not a good idea to store these, unprocessed, in your pantry, especially if you've added fresh herbs or garlic, because of the risk of botulism contamination. However, if you're a home canner, processed jars would be ok to store at room temp, just always inspect your jars for mold or bacteria growth (cloudiness, fungal growths, leaking seals, and puffed up lids can all indicate contamination). Food poisoning is no fun.

Deliciously Directionless - Your only limit is your imagination. It sounds corny, but one of my favorite things about food is that you are pretty much free to sub out any herb you want. If you like dill, or marjoram, or savory, by all means, switch it up.

I hope I was of some help to you folks! :-)

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about 1 month ago Miles

Beth - Thanks! I've been making some (using a dehydrator) for the past week because we have tomatoes attacking us : ) Really like the garlic - smells wonderful while drying.

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3 months ago Miles

Doesn't look like any answers to these questions, but I have similar ones. Storage and usage. Thanks!

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about 2 years ago Deliciously Directionless

Can I substitute thyme with rosemary or basil?

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about 2 years ago akrainey

If one elects to place the dried tomatoes on olive oil, I assume refrigeration is still necessary ...right?

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about 2 years ago Maureen ONeal

How long will the tomatoes keep? Can you freeze them in olive oil?

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about 2 years ago LittleFrier

This may be a silly question, as I am an admitted food novice. But, do you remove the garlic from the olive oil or do they hang with the tomatoes during storage?