Making sun dried tomatoes

It’s nearing to the end of tomato growing season. I have been making sun dried tomatoes by using the oven. It’s too cold at the moment to dry the tomatoes in the sun as the temperature has plummeted recently to average daytime 20-16 deg cel here in London.

The process of making sun dried tomatoes is not as complicated as it sounds. All you need is to slice the tomatoes into half place them face up and dry them in the oven at 120 deg cel for 2-3 hours depending on the size of tomatoes. The smaller ones dry up much quicker in the oven than the bigger ones. If the sun is still warm around just leave them out in the hot sun for two days and bring them inside at night. It is as simple as that. Just make sure you do check on the tomatoes by 2 hours as you don’t want to burn them. They will turn into a rustic red, brownish hue. If it’s turn black colour then it’s burn.

It’s a bit like making Sweet potato crisp recipe where one also uses the oven. It’s a way to preserve tomatoes. It will change to an more intense flavour as a result. If you like after cutting the tomatoes you can add some chopped garlic, oregano, ground black pepper and a bit of salt to flavour the sun dried tomatoes. Some recipes do recommend drizzling with some olive oil but I have sun dried them without. You can then put them in sterilised preserving jar (eg. like Kilner) and fill in up with olive oil. They can kept for up to 6 months. Mine just finishes within 1 week so I don’t put them in sterilised jars.

The varieties have used to sun dried tomatoes are San Manzano and Artisan bumble bee and they taste lovely. It just makes the flavours especially the artisam bumble bee more intense compare to eating them raw. i have also tried oven drying the yellow sungold cherry tomatoes and they taste just as good as other varieties. Whatever variety or type of tomato you choose to sun/ oven dry do keep in mind that tomatoes do shrink a lot during the drying process.

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