Last week we had a bowl full of tomatoes sitting on our kitchen counter for over a week. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make more of this yummy sauce or something else. If you know me you can guess what I decided. Option two, try something new. I’m one of pinterest biggest advocates because you can bet if I’m looking for a meal idea or planning I weekly menu my eyes are scanning through my boards. But lately, I’ve also fallen in love with foodgawker. Because basically I can “favorite” any food that looks good and it will save it there for me and, trust me, I love food. So anyway, that’s where I get my inspirations from. And I love getting foodie inspirations.
The point is, I wanted to try something new, and I saw a couple recipes for homemade sun dried tomatoes, but buying mesh and things to put over boards to protect them from birds and leaving them outside for days didn’t really appeal to me. Nice for me we have a dehydrator so I can speed up the process in the benefits of my own house. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can also use your oven, set on the lowest temperature.
Tomatoes (Roma worked great for me, and most of ours were so small that dried up they make the perfect size to go in pastas and wraps and things – I’ve also heard they are less juicy so they dry faster)
1. Slice your tomatoes lengthwise into about 1/2 inch thick slices (my romas were so small I sliced most of them in halves)
2. Place tomato slices on prepared baking sheet or dehydrator tray (prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or spraying with a lot of nonstick spray – prepare dehydrator tray by spraying thoroughly with nonstick spray)
3. Spread tomatoes over baking sheet or tray, make sure they don’t overlap.
4. Sprinkle with a little olive oil. (I probably used 1 TBS per tray, maybe 1 1/2 to 2 TBS for a cookie sheet)
5. Sprinkle basil, oregano and salt over tomatoes to taste (I probably used 1/4 to 1/2 tsp on each tray)
6. Turn dehydrator on to 135-145 degrees and allow to dry until shriveled and dry, but not crispy enough to break in half. (For us this was literally 20-24 hours, but all the recipes I’ve seen have said 8-10, so I’m not sure if our dehydrator dries stuff slower than normal. Rotate trays half way through, move the top to bottom, to allow an even dry)
OR 6. Set your oven to the lowest temperature possible. Allow to dry in oven for 6 to 12 hours.
7. Store dried tomatoes in a jar in olive oil for up to 1 month in your fridge. Or freeze them in ziplock bags. (We stored 1 cup worth in a jar and froze the rest, we will thaw them and put them in olive oil in the fridge when we want to use those too)
Enjoy on sandwiches or wraps or in salads or pastas. Yum!