Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sun (Oven) - Dried Tomatoes


I had tomatoes in my fridge a little bit ago and they were almost past their prime. I hate throwing out food, especially tomatoes that can be expensive, so I decided to do my 'reusing' thing. Sun-dried tomatoes seemed like the perfect thing to do because there are so many ways to use them.

Since the weather over here is so unpredictable, and it wasn't very sunny when I was going to make these, I dried my tomatoes in the oven. It was really easy because there is hardly any prep and then you just leave them for a few hours. It's also great because they can be kept in the fridge or even the freezer if the moisture is completely removed. It's the perfect thing to do with tomatoes that you don't want to throw out.

After about seven hours on two baking sheets, my three tomatoes were nicely dried. I would definitely do it this way again, too, because I made a pretty awesome sun-dried tomato pasta out of the final results.

Here are the steps to make dried tomatoes in your oven:

Sun (Oven) - Dried Tomatoes

What you need:
baking sheets
baking racks

Step 1
Preheat oven to 200°.

Step 2
Wash tomatoes and cut into slices or wedges. I went with wedges. (You'll need to adjust your drying time accordingly depending on how thick your slices or wedges are and the moisture content of your tomatoes.)

Step 3
Remove most or all of the seeds (This step isn't really necessary, but a bunch of re-hydrated seeds just didn't sound very appealing to me) and sprinkle with a little salt.

Step 4
Arrange your tomatoes on a baking rack placed on top of a baking sheet. I put foil underneath the rack to catch any juices. Make sure you leave an inch or two between each tomato piece to allow for enough air flow.

Step 5
Place your sheets in the oven and let them go for about 6-8 hours. Check them every half hour or so after hour 6 to make sure they don't over-dry.

Step 6
Store in an airtight container for a few weeks in the fridge or a couple months in the freezer. Make sure there is absolutely no moisture or they will get moldy.

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