Sun dried tomatoes are one of my favorite summer ingredients for salads, pasta dishes, omelets…just about anything! The only downside is that it’s next to impossible to find sun dried tomatoes in Paris that aren’t packed in oil. Seriously, those things have enough oil soaked in to completely offset a day of healthy eating. And on top of the oil issue, sun dried tomatoes are definitely not cheap, making them more of a treat in our household rather than a kitchen staple.
When I stumbled across this post over at Big Girls Small Kitchen, I was completely blown away…homemade sun dried tomatoes! The process seemed so simple that I couldn’t wait to give it a try, even though I read that it takes a while.
Since I wanted to stay at home and rest this weekend, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try this time-consuming project. And wow, did it take a long time! I cut the tomatoes in half, sprinkled them with salt and basil, and put them on a baking sheet in the oven at 125 F. I left the oven door slightly open so that the water could evaporate.
After about 24 hours, the tomatoes still had too much moisture. At this point I decided to remove the seeds, as I had read that removing the seeds helps the tomatoes to dry faster. I pressed out some of the water with a paper towel, and put the tomatoes back in the oven at 175 F this time.
After another few hours, they began to look like I imagined. Sun dried tomatoes should have a rubbery texture but not be brittle, and these are definitely right on. It’s also important to make sure that they’re dry enough, though, as otherwise they’ll mold in the fridge.
I can’t wait to try my homemade sun dried tomatoes in a recipe and see how they compare to the store-bought ones. I’d definitely make homemade sun dried tomatoes again, but next time I’ll take out the seeds straight from the beginning to speed up the process.
Until next time,