Thursday, 2 October 2008

Oven dried tomatoes

I absolutely love sun dried tomatoes, come to think of it I love tomatoes of any description. When I was at school I used to fill my lunch box with them, at break time other people ate crisps or chocolate, I ate tomatoes! So when I first heard that it was possible to make oven dried tomatoes at home it instantly appealed to me, I had plans for them, in pasta, on pizza or for making amazing sandwiches.
That was over a year ago and until today I still hadn't made them, as the last of this years summer fruits and vegetables disappear from the shelves it was a case of do it now or wait another year. Although tomatoes are available all year round it's only really worth making these during the summer when tomatoes are at their sweetest and tastiest.
I used regular tomatoes but if you can get them the more unusual varieties would be well worth trying, yellow tomatoes would look fantastic while I imagine cherry tomatoes would be deliciously sweet.

Oven dried tomatoes are a breeze to make but do require patience as they take around six hours to make, so set them going and forget about them, watch a film read a book and do the shopping. By the time you get back they should be done and they will have been well worth the wait.

I didn't follow a recipe but used different bits of lots of recipes and kind of worked it out as I went along, this is what I did...

Take 1 1/2 lbs of good tomatoes, slice them in half and place cut side up on a lightly oiled baking tray, sprinkle with salt and if you want some dried herbs.Light your oven set as low as it will go, you just want it to be warm. Put your tray of tomatoes in the oven on the middle shelf. at this point put your jars in the oven to sterilise.
How long it takes now will depend on the size of tomato and heat of the oven, mine were medium sized tomatoes and took just under six hours, obviously the smaller the tomato the quicker it will be. When done they should look like this....Now take the tomatoes and jars out of the oven and pack the tomatoes into your sterilised jars, pour olive oil over the tomatoes until completely covered and seal.These should keep for quite a long time in the fridge and will make a delicious addition to pasta dishes or they would be great in a ciabatta sandwich with parma ham.

19 comments:

Amanda said...

Sam, you've found a luxurious secret here--the oven-dried tomato. I used to make them when I grew my own tomatoes--they're a great way to use up summer's bounty. I love them packed with oil, available at a moment's notice.

I've also made them by setting my gas oven on it's lowest setting for about an hour and then turning it off, leaving the tomatoes in the oven with only the pilot light overnight. Works like a charm!

Hopie said...

Oooh, looks simple and delicious. I thought it would be much harder than that! D. is a major fan of sun-dried tomatoes so I know I'd be making someone very happy if I gave these a try :-)

Ben said...

Great idea :)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

YUM YUM! I love these too! So good to make them at home!

Beth said...

Ive been meaing to make oven dried toms for ages - will have to try soon

Joie de vivre said...

I am going to try this tomorrow! I have a bounty of tomatoes on my counter right now. I am worried about putting the olive oil in the fridge though. Won't it congeal into a solid mess?

Foodycat said...

They are so delicious! But unless you heated the oil before you packed them, they are a bit prone to going mouldy in the fridge - so eat them fast!

Antonia said...

How funny - I have hundreds of tomatoes lying around and was just thinking of looking up recipes for oven-dried tomatoes. I need look no further!

Amanda said...

IMHO olive oil does get a bit icky in the fridge; I've actually oven-dried tomatoes (to very dry--not flexible) in the past and kept them in oil in the cupboard with success.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Sam, thanks for stopping by my blog. Hey, I love the way you prepared the oven dried tomatoes. That is so cool. I love tomatoes. Great job Sam.

Sam said...

Amanda: They are delicious, I'm so glad I discovered them, I'm thinking risotto tonight.

I was surprised at just how easy it was you should definitely try them.

Ben: Thanks!

Jenn: They're great aren't they.

Beth: You should give it a go, best with summer tomatoes though.

Joie de vivre: I'd love to hear how you get on!

Foodycat: Thanks for the tip, I didn't heat the oil so I'll use them quickly.

Antonia: Glad I helped!

Amanda: I don't think I dried mine quite enough for that, but I will leave them longer next time, maybe overnight?

Teresa: No problem, your blog is great! and thanks!

Joie de vivre said...

Sam, I tried this yesterday and blogged it on my site. I've linked to yours! Thanks so much for the idea!

creampuff said...

Sam,

I'm so glad you tried them. Aren't they delicious?! They look fab!

Pam said...

They looks delicious! I love roasting tomatoes but have never tried canning them.

I used to eat tomatoes at school too. I would eat them raw, like an apple, with salt and pepper. Love them!

Amanda said...

Sam, the length of time to dry them further depends on your oven. I'd do it on a day when you're home to check every once in a while. I seem to remember leaving them a full day plus overnight with just the pilot on.

Andrea said...

I used to bring tomatoes to school for lunch too! I'd get made such fun of for eating them out of hand like apples with a little salt. Those other kids didn't know anything! These look so awesome and you're going to be super happy to have them once the beautiful tomatoes are gone (sigh).

recipes2share said...

These look really great & thank you for the photo, great to welcome you onto the gallery!

Cerys said...

Hi, Im Cerys. I know your Mum from years ago. She was so lovely to me when I had my first 2 daughters and everything involving babies, etc was new to me! Bless her precious heart.

Now, I LOVE sundried tomatoes and I have bought my tomatoes and jars ready to do your recipe :)

Cerys said...

Tomatoes are all done and in the jars! So easy to do :) Did them last week and put some in a stir fry last night...delicious!