Readymade sun dried tomatoes are easily available but are quite expensive and if you make them at home, they don’t really cost much. You can easily make them when tomatoes are in season and are low priced – so buy tomatoes during season in bulk and easily make an yearly stock.Sun dried tomatoes are used to make pasta, pizza, sandwiches, breads and they can be added to hummus and sauces.
There are two methods of making sun dried tomatoes – drying in direct sunlight or dry in a conventional oven at low temperature. Though the results of both methods are good but I prefer to make them traditionally – the sun drying method. Sun dried tomatoes can be kept in zip lock bags and stored in a refrigerator or freezer, or added in a jar with olive oil to preserve the pieces.
Prep time – 20 min
Drying time – 4-6 days
Cuisine – International
Type – Snacks, Preserves
- Tomatoes – 2 kg
- Salt – to taste
- Pepper powder – 1 tsp
- Dried basil – 1 tsp
- Wash and wipe tomatoes with a kitchen napkin.
- Cut tomatoes in halves and if they are too big then chop them into quarters.
- You can scoop out the seeds, but this is optional. I didn’t remove the seeds.
- Spread tomatoes on a big plate or tray.
- Arrange them in a single layer and with some distance from each other.
- Sprinkle a little salt, pepper and dried basil over the tomato pieces.
- Cover the tomato tray with a fine muslin cloth or a net.
- Keep the tray in direct sun light .
- It will take 4-6 days depend upon the weather and size of tomatoes.
- When they have dried completely, they have a chewy raisin-like texture.
- Once dried, store them in zip lock bags and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
- You may also add in a glass jar and pour olive oil to cover the pieces completely.
14. Preheat oven on 160 degree centigrade and spread tomatoes in a baking tray.
15. Spread in a single layer and with some gap between the pieces
16. Cook for 8-12 hours depends on the size and thickness of the tomatoes.
17. When the pieces cool down completely then store in a zip lock bag.
18. Keep refrigerated or preserve in olive oil.
- Try to use tomatoes which have more flesh than juice.
- Removing seeds is optional – can do both ways.
- You can use any herb of your choice to season the tomatoes with – oregano, basil, thyme etc.
- You may skip adding the salt, pepper and spices and choose to make plain sundried tomatoes.
- Unlike many other vegetables, tomatoes do not become crisp after drying – they have chewy texture like prunes or raisins.