The farm's cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen, so now is a good time to share this recipe.
I have been unable to find sun dried tomatoes using healthy ingredients (organic EVOO and sea salt), so I decided to make my own. I use the cherry tomatoes our farm grows because the paste tomatoes are usually too large. Cherry tomatoes, on the other hand, don't need to be chopped before use because they're already bite size!
They can be made in an oven or a dehydrator.
I have a friend who doesn't like tomato seeds so I tried making these once without the pulp and they ended up being nothing but a crunchy shell. You need the pulp to create bulk.
"Sun" Oven Dried Cherry Tomatoes
Makes as much as you have tomatoes
- Cherry tomatoes - red, yellow, or grape*
Cut each tomato in half and arrange on a baking sheet or dehydrator tray. Sprinkle with salt.
If you're using an oven, roast at the lowest temperature your oven will allow, turning the pans occasionally, until the tomatoes are leathery. If you take them beyond this point, all the way to crunchy, they will make a delicious snack (tomato chips!) but you will not be able to rehydrate them, ever.
|Dehydrator trays - notice how green the orange tomatoes are|
If you're using a dehydrator, they need 2-3 days at 135F to reach the leathery stage. As above, if you take them beyond this point, all the way to crunchy, they will make a delicious snack (tomato chips!) but you will not be able to rehydrate them.
By 'leathery' I mean that the moisture has left but they are still pliable. They will shrink a LOT!
Oven tray before and after
I have made them both ways (oven and dehydrator) and oven is definitely faster but you have to be vigilant because they go from leather to crisp very fast. In the photo above, some of them are a bit too dark and crunchy! I prefer the dehydrator.
At this point, they can be frozen or stored in EVOO (in your refrigerator).
When I use them, I don't rehydrate them, I just toss them into whatever I'm making.
* I pick the tomatoes when they're still a bit green inside as they survive the trip home much better. I then let them ripen at room temperature. For drying, I actually prefer them when they're green because I like the sour pop they provide when I add them to a dish. The fully ripe ones are sweeter, so I generally make both.
I used them in the salad shown below. Arugula salad with sun dried cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced scallions with creamy balsamic dressing.