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Sun-Dried Tomatoes 101

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“Sun-dried tomatoes, either in olive oil, seasoned, or plain, add a gourmet touch and great flavor to many dishes and salads. But the price in the stores is exorbitant! Did you know it is incredibly easy to make your own sun-dried tomatoes at home with no special equipment? The quality can be better than any you've bought and now you have an easy way to use your excess tomatoes, as well as have them for use in the winter. They make excellent gifts, too.”
READY IN:
5hrs 10mins
YIELD:
1 8-ounce jar
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 200*F. Place a metal rack on a baking sheet.
  2. 2. Cut each tomato in thirds lengthwise. Each slice should be about 1/3-inch thick.
  3. 3. Sprinkle salt on the cut sides of the tomatoes--not more than you'd want to eat though! 4. Line a cutting board with a dish towel or paper towels and place the tomatoes on top. 5. Top with another dish towel and another cutting board. Weight with a heavy cookbook or two. Leave for 20 minutes. This helps get some of the tomato's juices out early, before they go in the oven.
  4. 6. Remove the tomatoes from the cutting board sandwich, dusting off any salt that hasn't dissolved, and place them on the rack, with at least 1 inch in between. Sprinkle with the fresh thyme.
  5. 7. Bake for about 5 hours, until the tomatoes are dry to the touch and have wrinkled around the edges. You can really decide how dry you want them--as dry as raisins? or do you want to leave a little plumpness? Watch them (and try them) as they cook, and decide for yourself. When done, remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  6. 8. If you're going to be storing your tomatoes in olive oil, place the olive oil and garlic in a small jar while the tomatoes are cooking, and let the garlic steep to flavor the oil.
  7. 9. When the tomatoes are cool, add them to the oil. If not using oil, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
  8. My Note: Tomatoes - any quantity, ripe, but not over ripe, still firm. The yield varies considerably depending upon the moisture content of the tomatoes, which depends upon the type of tomato and the weather. Paste tomatoes (Roma) work best and typically yield 2 cups of dried tomatoes for each 5 lbs of fresh.

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