Making Homemade Sun dried tomatoes is easy and saves you TONS of money. The flavor is fantastic! Make yourself a wonderfully healthy snack food or condiment with healthy fats and the freshest, most flavorful ingredients!
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A couple of months ago I discovered “Sun Dried” Tomatoes in a jar… And just about fell onto the grocery store floor when I checked out the price! Holy sticker shock! I just knew we could figure out a way to make these better and cheaper ourselves. I took the project on!
After googling I discovered Sun Dried Tomatoes are not usually dried in the sun! That’s mostly label marketing. Can they be dried in the sun? Absolutely! It takes several days and proper weather (which we don’t have here)… and bug screens…so…
What I did, was use my VERY old Harvest Maid food dehydrator. It’s very easy to use and controls the heat. You can also oven dry or roast tomatoes if you wish. Although a food dryer is more energy efficient and I like the results better.
We are growing several varieties of tomatoes this year. None are the fleshy kind. Ours are slicers. I dried our Arbason, Volkovs and Rebelski varieties. They are eating varieties, not the best for saucing and drying. Next year we will add some Romas or Plum tomatoes.
Home drying Tomatoes:
Because I was working with juicy, seeded varieties; I sliced them thin (1/4 inch) and laid them out on my dehydrator trays. I dried them at 145 degrees for about 6 hours. Whatever variety of tomatoes you use will require you to figure out the results you want in your tomato and adjust the time and heat accordingly.
We ate them straight off the food dryer and enjoyed the chewy sweetness….I also loaded several gallon sized zip lock freezer bags during the tomato harvest and froze them. They were great all winter.
The way to truly LOVE these tomatoes dried is to make them into homemade sun dried tomatoes.
- Put the dried tomatoes into a container, like a pint mason jar, and pour the best quality olive oil you can find over them (I’m using sage infused olive oil from Drizzle.
- Add Italian spices, fresh herbs and garlic and a dash of Balsamic vinegar for a little bite. I used Drizzle Apple Cider Balsamic vinegar (Wowsa! That is good stuff!).
- Store in the fridge overnight for best flavor infusion before using.
All through the year I pull out a jars worth of my frozen dried tomatoes and whip up a batch of homemade Sun dried tomatoes from them. What an amazing flavor treat. Zip up a sandwich, sauce or dinner.
In the picture above, I dried the tomatoes about halfway dry and cut them thicker and long wise. Then I froze them in a freezer bag. Last night I took them out of the freezer, defrosted them, stirred in my seasonings and oil and then let them sit in the fridge overnight.
Today I needed homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes for my Mediterranean macaroni Salad. I didn’t want chewy, tough tomatoes for the salad. They needed to be soft and flavorful. YES! this recipe worked perfectly! So much more flavor punch from these homemade sun dried tomatoes! The salad is great!
Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes Recipe Notes:
Feel free to Go your own way and make a unique, gourmet condiment. I’m Playing with my food again. I love to do that. Drying tomatoes to different textures, gives you different results and opportunities. Want a chewy snack for a car trip, hike or lunch? Dry them chewy. Need a jarred condiment for a recipe that is soft and flavorful? Make a batch of the softer, less dried tomatoes and marinate them for a few days. They will hold for weeks in the fridge.
Fresh out of the dryer, home dried tomatoes taste sweet and chewy. We add marinated homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes into salads, omelets, crostini topping, and our own Easy homemade Marinara sauce for amazing flavor enhancements. Use these one to one for any recipe calling for sun dried tomatoes.
I’m finding myself repeatedly going back to that jar, digging in with a fork and picking out yummy bits. Homemade Sun dried tomatoes make a great snack just by themselves!
let me know your experiences with drying your own tomatoes. I’m sure, now that I know these are so delicious, I will be revising this post with future discoveries.
I strongly suggest:
If you’re not using your own home organically grown tomatoes; go find some!! Do NOT use non-organic tomatoes for this recipe. Normally “safe” levels of conventional pest and herbicides on tomatoes and peppers will concentrate as they are dried; making them more toxic. Go find a local organic source of tomatoes and peppers for this recipe. The flavor will be magnificently improved as well.
…you need to be VERY careful about putting these dried tomatoes in a jar with oil, herbs and spices and setting it on a shelf at room temperature, for long term storage. That is very controversial (And I haven’t shared the method correctly for long term storage), due to possible lethal, bacterial contamination.
The preferred safest method to store home dried tomatoes:
- freeze them in a vacuum pack or zip lock freezer bag with ALL the air squeezed out.
- when you want to use them; remove from the freezer in small batches.
- Put into an airtight container in the fridge with your olive oil, spices and herbs; or just water if you want them plain.
- Adjust water or oil as you discover what you like best for different uses. Kept in the fridge these Will last several weeks.
Number of servings: 8
136 calories Per 1/4 Cup Serving
Fat 14 g
Carbs 4 g
Protein 1 g
Here is Your Printable Recipe Card:
- 1 lb.Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup olive oil
- fresh herbs like basil to taste
- sliced garlic cloves to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Italian seasonings to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar to taste
- Wash and Dry the tomatoes.
- Slice them into quarters for fleshy varieties or thin slices if juicy and seedy.
- Dry them in the oven at about 100 or 200 degrees on a shallow baking sheet, turning occasionally OR use your food dehydrator as I did.
- Once dry,for immediate use; put the tomatoes into a container. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, spices and vinegar.
- Pour over the tomatoes and mix until the tomatoes are thoroughly coated with the oil mixture.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Use as desired
For long term storage freeze the dried tomatoes with a vacuum pack or freezer bags. Thaw in small batches and rehydrate with the oil infusion over night (add water to attain preferred hydration).
This post is a repost. original post published July 13, 2015
More harvest preserving ideas:
Go to Scordo.com for an enjoyable, informative read on drying, Sun Dried tomatoes. Preserving and serving suggestions included!