(Almost) Sun Dried Tomatoes

Sun dried tomatoes are pretty easy. It takes about three days in the sun (some times five), be sure to cover with cheese cloth to keep the birds & bugs off them. Also, have something over the top or use a glass hot house so nothing falls into or on to the tomatoes as they dry.

Or, the more economical way (and like most “sun dried” things), use a dehydrator.

This is the dehydrator method. It’s also WAY faster!

The dehydrator that I use, is one that I have used for about twenty years. It’s my Nesco (brand) Snack Dehydrator. It works well for me. Adjust any temps or time to what ever type you have.

done postP

You can use any type of tomato you like. These, are Roma tomatoes. They are a little more hearty than say your heirloom or beef stake tomato. On my dehydrator (pictured) tray, are four medium Roma tomatoes, adjust to fit yours.

You can use a cool tomato coring tool, or you can use the tip of your potato peeler. I’m pretty sure I have one of those tomato coring tools in a box, here someplace. I believe it was a “gift” from one of the restaurants. I (obviously) like using the potato peeler. You can stab around the vine part of the tomato, in a circle, then twist & scoop it out/off (pix).

tomato core postP

Next cut each tomato in half twice (eighths). Or in half in half, in half again (pix). The knife shows you the split points of quarter & eighth.

Season your tomatoes with rosemary, thyme, oregano & salt. That’s it for prep. You don’t have to seed them, you don’t have to blanch them, no brining is required. You can seed them if you really would like to, but I like all of the tomato in there.

That just means to scrape the flesh & seedy part off (waste). Toss that in the garden/compost pile if you do.

I just free sprinkle my seasonings & salt. I rub the herb in my hands & sprinkle over the tomatoes. You can use Italian seasonings if you’d like to make it easier.

tomato cuts postP

To give you a measurement

Half Tbsp of each

Rosemary
Thyme
Oregano
Salt
4 medium large Roma tomatoes 1/8 (wedge) cut

I set the dehydrator to max (155°F) & came back about eight hours later & turned it down to 135°F for about six hours, got up & back up to 155°F for about three hours. Your dehydrator may vary. The time can vary, with other items that you are drying (I added an onion to a top tray), & how juicy your tomatoes are. These tomatoes were very juicy. Also note they were nice & firm.

You want them as dry as you can get them. Feeling like leather, the storage will be different than if they are really dry. If you are going to pack them in olive oil (fill to container top), you can use the leather (not so dry) way. Pop `em in the fridge for a couple weeks.
Dried completely, they will hold for about two months in a cool dry place.

Don’t hold me to the times, the place where you live may be different than mine. If in doubt, throw them out. Label & date.

That’s it. Add these gems to your salad, toss a few in your spaghetti sauce (re constituted first), or your salsa. Grind them to a powder first, & they will flavor burst that dish because dehydrated veggies are concentrated.

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