Wednesday, March 14, 2012
How to Make Your Own Sun-dried Tomatoes
Hello and welcome to The Slow Roasted Italian. Today I would like to share with you one of my favorite foods. I am a tomato lover through and through. I love them fresh, baked, cooked on the stove top, and I especially love Sun-dried tomatoes. I eat the Rosemary Basil Sun-dried Tomatoes like candy (they are THAT good)!
These are simply sun-dried tomatoes like you would buy in the store. Except these are all natural and have no additives or preservatives. They are so simple that I would NEVER buy these in the store. The batch pictured above I chose to dehydrate without the seeds because I am planning on grinding them into tomato powder to be used like tomato paste. However you can dry them with seeds and they can be kept in the freezer.
I use my Excalibur dehydrator which does a fantastic job of drying. I really just put them on the trays and forget them. After many hours of drying I check on them. I use the Excalibur 3900 and I can fit 15 tomatoes on each tray. I can dry 4 trays at a time (because of the height).
OVEN NOTE: You can also dry these in your oven. Set oven to 135° and place tomatoes on a cooling rack set onto a baking 1/2 sheet. Bake for 8-18 hours, depending on whether you remove the seeds or not. Removing the seeds makes dehydration much faster.
60 Roma tomatoes, ripe
Fill your sink with warm soapy water and wash tomatoes thoroughly. (Remember you are eating the skins, you want them nice and clean).
Remove from water and rinse. Core tomatoes and slice in half vertically.
Place tomatoes on trays. You can fit 30 tomato halves on each of the Excalibur trays.
Place them in dehydrator and allow to dry for 12 -18 hours, until they have no moisture remaining in the tomato.
Place in an air tight container and store in the pantry/refrigerator/freezer to be used as needed. They will keep for at least 1 year in the refrigerator/freezer. Storing in the pantry, in a cool and dark place, they will keep for at least 1 year. However if there is ANY moisture present it can cause mold to grow. So, to be safe I store them in my freezer.
To use your tomatoes, you can cook them from frozen or let them defrost on the counter for 5 minutes. You can also reconstitute them in boiling water for 5 minutes.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted Italian.com