Drying these sweet little gemlike tomatoes instead of roasting them works something like culinary magic. Grape tomatoes on their own are good. Grape tomatoes seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper, and slowly oven-dried along with thick slices of fresh garlic are pure magic. They become crispy, tangy, salty-sweet little morsels that are every bit as addictive as potato chips. I have been known to consume a good portion of the batch as it cools on the baking sheet, fresh from the oven.
Try them plain as a snack, toss a few into a salad or a pasta dish, chop them and add to a vinaigrette, or use them anywhere that you’d use sun-dried tomatoes. —Sandy Smith
Test Kitchen Notes
This cuter version of sun-dried tomatoes has a more delicate texture and flavor than dried plum tomatoes. I liked them warm just out of the oven, I liked them after they cooled down, and I loved them on my pasta salad. Also, the subtle smell and taste of garlic made the tomatoes even more interesting. This recipe is easy to follow and it makes me wonder why I have not dried my own tomatoes before. It did take my tomatoes double the amount of the suggested baking time to dry, but it was worth the wait. —Mi Budare
Preheat oven to 225° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Wash and spin-dry tomatoes. Pick over and remove any that are blemished or moldy.
Cut tomatoes in half and place in a nonreactive mixing bowl; add garlic slices. Drizzle tomatoes and garlic with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.
Pour tomatoes out onto baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place sheet in oven and cook at 225° F for about 2 hours. Turn tomatoes with a spatula and return to oven. Check again in about 1 hour; return to oven if tomatoes are not dry. Tomatoes are done when they are dry and crispy. The bigger and thicker tomatoes in the bunch should still be tender and pliable; none should be charred. Store these in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container and use within 2 to 3 days.