Oven dried tomatoes

oven dried tomatoes

This is a really good way to preserve any glut of tomatoes that you may have.  My parents built a poly tunnel for my husband’s birthday present last year and we love it.  Our tomatoes have been really productive, although they did show signs of blight at the beginning of the summer. We chopped it out and they have provided us with a bounteous supply ever since. Those that haven’t been snaffled out of the bowl by the handful by the eldest daughter have made many a tomato inspired meal and with the rest we have made a couple of batches of passata for the freezer and several jars of these oven dried tomatoes.

I am lucky enough to cook on an aga which makes this way of preserving ideal as you can just leave them overnight in the warming oven and they are ready in the morning.

olive oil
sterilised jars

Wash the tomatoes and dry well. Slice the tomatoes in half and place onto a grill rack that is over a baking tray (to catch any spills and make it easy to put in and take out of the oven). Make sure they are well spaced and not touching. Sprinkle with salt and place in a low oven (100°c, or if your oven doesn’t go that low on its lowest setting).  Leave for anything from six hours to eighteen hours, it will depend on the size of your tomatoes. When they have dried out take them from the oven and leave to go completely cold. Place into a sterile jar and top up with olive oil.  Store in a dark place. Make sure that the tomatoes are always covered with oil, so top up if you need to as you use them.

I like mine in plain oil but if you prefer you can add vinegar to your oil or add herbs.  A sprig of thyme would be good, a bay leaf or perhaps a sprig of rosemary.

Don’t forget that once you have used your tomatoes, the oil will be deliciously tomatoey and will be good used in dressings or over pasta or used in tomato sauces.

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