Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomatoes in an Oven

I love every tomato product out there—ketchup, marinara sauce, tomato sauce, salsa, stuffed tomatoes, and of course sun-dried tomatoes. My mom’s a big gardener and she had an over abundance of cherry tomatoes last summer which meant she gave me a bunch of tomatoes to take home. While I love tomato products, I’m not a huge fan of raw tomatoes. They’re okay in moderation. Since sun-dried tomatoes are so expensive to buy at the store, I decided to try to turn my surplus of tomatoes into sun-dried tomatoes. I couldn’t believe how incredibly easy it was.

Cherry Tomatoes

1 pint of cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh thyme, to taste

Set your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat your cookie sheet with olive oil.

Cut your cherry tomatoes in half and set them face down on the oiled cookie sheet. Next, flip the tomatoes over so they rest on the rounded side. Sprinkle with sea salt and thyme. You can also season your tomatoes with basil, garlic or rosemary. Thyme is just my personal favorite. Set the baking sheet in the center rack of your oven. If you have an electric oven, leave the oven door open a crack.

Ready to go into the oven.

Cooking Times
Cooking time depends on the size of your tomatoes and can greatly vary. I begin checking on the tomatoes after 3 hours. You want your tomatoes shriveled but still a little juicy. My tomatoes never cook at the same rate so I remove the ones that are done and continue to check on the remaining tomatoes, about every half an hour to hour. Expect your cooking time to range between 3 and 7 hours. But your kitchen will smell absolutely amazing that entire time. 

Sun-dried tomatoes
When your tomatoes are done, let them cool then place them in an air tight container and store them in the refrigerator.
What to do with your sun-dried tomatoes
We love to snack on sun-dried tomatoes. I put them on salads, sandwiches, and pizza. They are amazing in macaroni and cheese. I also like them with pesto and spaghetti. Eric puts them on crackers with cheese (cheddar, brie, mozzarella, whatever we have in the house) and pepperoni. No matter what you do with them, they’re delicious!



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