Homemade sun dried tomatoes are the best !! And they are so so so easy to make. Not only that, you can also create variations according to your tastes.
So sun dried tomatoes are tomatoes that have lost most of their water content after being dried in the sun for about 4-8 days. After they are dehydrated, they get this very interesting leathery chewy texture with a burst of flavour.
I sundry regular tomatoes as well as cherry tomatoes. They not only add so much flavour and character to pastas but also to salads, especially the cherry sundried tomatoes.
So there are two ways of doing this:
Sun Dried Tomatoes the Natural Way:
1. Chop the tomatoes into wedges or slices.
2. Spread them on a tray.
3. Sprinkle some salt and cover with a muslin cloth.
4. Keep in the sun. Remember to take them inside in the evenings.
5. Repeat this procedure for anything between 4-8 days and your sundried tomatoes are ready.
On the flip side the problems with this method are:
1. Birds can come and ruin the tomatoes.
2. Tomatoes invariable catch fungus.
This works well only when the sun is really really harsh and you live in a place where you get strong direct sunlight for atleast 4 hours a day. With a lot of us living in apartments nowadays, this could get a bit tricky. Plus it is time consuming. If you want you sundried tomatoes for dinner then this is not your method.
Sun Dried Tomatoes in the Oven:
Err....we mean dried tomatoes in the oven or dehydrated tomatoes but doesn't it so completely lose it's exoticness instantly the moment we take away sundried. Hence we prepare them in the oven but still call then Sun Dried tomatoes :D !!
1. Preheat oven to the lowest temperature setting for 10 minutes, if you use a convection oven, even better.
2. Chop the tomatoes into wedges or slices.
3. Line a baking tray with silver foil, and spread them on it. Sprinkle some salt on them.
4. Place it in the oven in the middle shelf and roast for 3-4 hours.
Now in this process you can do a lot of variations:
- While placing the tomatoes on the baking tray, you could grate some garlic on them, and maybe sprinkle some dried oregano or even tuck in a few sprigs of fresh basil. That is why I said you can create your own variations.
Storing Sun Dried Tomatoes:
You can bottle them with or without olive oil.
Or simply ziplock it and put it in the fridge. You can even freeze them after ziplocking it.
I don't freeze it because I make small batches, so I only refrigerate it.
Here I have a bottle of sun dried cherry tomatoes.
Happy Drying !!