Today a local blogging friend, Adrienne, is sharing her recipe for Herb Seasoned Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Let me know if you try these!
Sun-dried tomatoes are one of my favorite foods.
You know, those little nuggets of sweet tomatoey goodness that add a punch of flavor to any dish!
They taste great, but they are super-expensive. (They typically cost about $20 per pound!)
Well, just after I started blogging, Kelly and I were talking about real food at a local meeting of the Weston A. Price Foundation. (I had been reading Kelly's blog for quite a while, but I finally got to meet her–up close and personal :-).)
We somehow got on the subject of dehydrators, and when I told Kelly that I made my own sun-dried tomatoes in my dehydrator, she said, “No way!” and kindly offered me a guest post.
So here I am, and here are instructions about how you too can make super easy sun-dried tomatoes at home and give some stretch to your real food dollars.
Now, there are a lot of techniques on the internet about making sun-dried tomatoes and storing them. And some of them are pretty time-consuming.
But, let's face it–we whole foodies need to get in and out of the kitchen fast, right?
This recipe will help you do just that. This is the way that I have been making my sun-dried tomatoes for years. There's a tad (just a “tad”) extra work involved over my Easiest Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes, but the olive oil and basil really enhances the tomato flavor nicely. This version passed all taste-tests in my family!
Seasoned Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Approximately 2 lbs tomatoes (equiv. of about 3 large; 5 cups total)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil, or other herbs (or substitute 3-4 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped. See my post on The Easiest Way to Preserve Herbs)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, optional
1. Slice tomatoes uniformly and place in medium-sized bowl.
2. Add oil, spice and salt and toss gently.
3. Arrange in a single-layer on either a dehydrator tray (with non-stick sheets) or cookie sheets (if using an oven).
4. Dry at the lowest possible temperature if using your oven. I dry mine at 125 degrees in my dehydrator to keep the enzymes intact.
5. Your tomatoes are done when they are no longer moist but are still pliable.
6. Store in an airtight container. I just use small plastic bags and secure them with these clips — one of my favorite kitchen tools! OR–
7. Another great option for storage is to store your sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil with added herbs. You get extra moist tomatoes with more herbal flavor and tomato and herb-infused olive oil as well. Yum! Tomatoes in oil should be stored in the fridge until use. The oil will solidify, but you can use it as is or let it warm up at room temp or in a pan of warm water prior to use.
- Seasonings above are variable by type and amount. Try garlic (have you seen the easiest way to peel garlic?), rosemary, or parsley. Whatever you like!
- Which variety of tomato should you use? They all work, but you'll get different results. I used smaller tomatoes like Romas in these photos. You can see photos of my drying big beautiful heirloom tomatoes on my other Sun-Dried Tomato post.
- If you don't have a dehydrator, just dry the tomatoes in your oven. But I really recommend getting a good dehydrator for several reasons and I know that Kelly likes them too :-)). One reason is that you can dry your foods at a low enough temp to keep the enzymes intact (most ovens don't go that low). Also, you can dry a lot more stuff at one time, especially if you get a large one. (For example, I can soak and dehydrate about 25 cups of nuts and seeds at once in mine!)
Need some other ideas for your abundant tomato harvest? Check out my plethora of tomato recipes and posts:
- The Easiest Way to Preserve Tomatoes
- The *BEST* Garden Salsa Recipe
- Try your homemade sun-dried tomatoes in my Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta.
I sure hope that after all this, you feel empowered to go and make some sun-dried tomatoes.
How about you? When will you give it a try?
Adrienne, of Whole New Mom, is a wife and homeschooling mother of two boys, one of whom has Asperger's Syndrome and life-threatening food allergies. In her past life she worked in the financial services industry and also taught in Japan. She has a passion to help others navigate the sea of information on the road to healthier lives, while trusting God for the results of their efforts. Additionally, she is a blossoming food freedom advocate. Because she loves to (and can’t afford not to :-)), she specializes in frugal living and simplifying special diets. You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.