It is that time of the year when the home grown/ local farm vegetable season is coming to an end. This is also the time when we think of ways to preserve some of the summer flavors. A couple of years ago I decided that I am going to make my own sun-dried tomatoes when I get an abundance of tomatoes and sun light (during the 3 months of summer in this part of the world). First trial was literally a wash thanks to an unexpected rain (it is called New England for a reason :-) ). Couple of more unsuccessful trials later, I figured out that this needs way too much patience, planning and care.., each of which are not in abundance for me. I went the QnH way and figured I might want to stick to the oven, sort of mimicking the dehydration using the lowest temperature of the oven. I had to play around with the timing and the cut of the tomatoes a few times to get this perfected.
- Tomatoes (I used small Campari tomatoes) - about 60
- Himalayan pink salt (or rock salt) - a couple of pinches
- Herbs - optional (your choice, preferably dried)
- Cut each tomato into quarters or smaller. Arrange on baking trays without crowding. (you will need 2 full size trays)
- Sprinkle salt and herbs (if using)
- Set oven to the lowest temperature. (Mine was at 170 deg F)
- Bake (basically dehydrate) for 10 to 12 hours After 9 hours, you can check every 30 minutes till your desired dryness level is reached.
- Let it cool completely.
- One option is to store dry in the refrigerator.
- Second option (my preferred option) is to store them in your pantry, covered in EV olive oil. As and when you are using up the tomatoes, you can reserve the oil for a flavorful oil for your pasta or for your salad dressings.
- Enjoy !!