Friday, June 17, 2011

Rosemary Basil Sun Dried Tomatoes

I have always loved Sun Dried Tomatoes, but I have never had any quite like these.  One taste and you will be hooked.  It is funny that one little ingredient or process can make such a huge difference in a recipe.  In this recipe, drying the tomatoes in the marinade instead of re-hydrating in an infused oil makes a HUGE difference. 


Kind of like cooking with salt vs. adding salt on the plate.  Cooking with salt adds flavor and brings out flavors, where as adding salt on the plate just makes food salty. Also, the fresh basil is absolutely fabulous in this recipe but if you can not find any, don't be discouraged, decrease the amount by half and use dried basil.  You will love these either way.

Rosemary Basil Sun Dried Tomatoes
15 firm ripe Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil (I use extra virgin)
3 cloves garlic (smashed)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Core and quarter tomatoes, if they are large cut them into 6th's or 8th's.  You do not want them to be taller than your food dehydrator tray.  Place cut tomatoes into a large bowl.  You can choose whether to seed the tomatoes or not, I do not notice any added bitterness from the seeds.  The moisture surrounding the seeds concentrates into a much deeper flavor profile so I choose to keep the tomato intact.



In a small microwave safe bowl combine olive oil and smashed garlic.  To smash garlic: lay the side of the blade of a chef´s knife (blade facing AWAY from you) on each clove and smash down with the heel of your palm.  Then remove skin.  Your garlic should look like this.


Cover bowl with a paper towel and microwave for 15-30 seconds.  Oil should be warm, not boiling.  Remove your garlic infused olive oil from the microwave and allow to cool slightly, just a few minutes.  Remove the smashed garlic from the oil and add chopped fresh basil, dried rosemary and kosher salt.  Stir to combine well.  You will have a mixture that looks like this.


Pour mixture in bowl over cut tomatoes.  Toss gently with your hands or a spoon to combine without bruising the tomatoes.  Your tomatoes will be generously coated in your olive oil mixture.  You could serve them over a bed of spring mix for a delightful salad at this point.  The marinating tomatoes smell so good, the waiting is the hardest part.

Place marinated tomatoes in your food dehydrator tray so they are not touching.  They will be very wet, you can shake off some of the liquid as you are taking them out of your prep bowl.  Do not 'dry' them off or you will lose your depth of all these flavors.


I am using a small 5 tray dehydrator for these Sun Dried Tomatoes, the entire batch fits nicely with a little room to spare.  Plug in your food dehydrator and dry according to manufacturers instructions.  It takes this dehydrator 10-15 hours. I started mine in the afternoon and they were not all done by bed time, so I simply unplugged the dehydrator and then turned it back on in the morning.


Remove sun dried tomatoes when they are completely dry.  They will have an light olive oil coating and be pliable.  Much like a raisin, they will be dried on the outside and barely fleshy on the inside. 


You may choose to use these right away.  If not, you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight bag or container for 6 to 9 months.  You can also store them in olive oil in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

To can these in olive oil, divide tomatoes into 2 half pint jars.  Add 4 ounces of a good extra virgin olive oil.  or you can put them in the freezer.  I did one of each.  I hope you enjoy them, I suspect they will be included in my dinner tonight.  I already have another batch started. 

4 comments:

  1. Wow, I might have to put a dehydrator on my wish list!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm saving this for a Tips/Tools/Tricks/Techniques feature once all our tomatoes are in full swing...LOVE it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. we have been blessed with a bumper crop of tomatoes this summer and I'm in desperate search on ways to can/freeze or ?? them before they go bad. any good ideas? can you use any other kind of tomatoes for this recipe? or do they have to be romas?

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  4. I am trying these today. They were so easy to put together, now I just hope my dehydrating skills do them justice!

    ReplyDelete

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