With the abundance of cherry tomatoes growing in our garden, we had to come up with different ways to eat it or we’d be left with rotten tomatoes! One of my favorite ingredients to add great flavor to dishes is sun-dried tomatoes. They really stand out in pasta salads or as a topping to pizza. To make the most out of our harvest, we made a huge batch of oven-dried tomatoes that took about 4 hours to dry and turned out to be the best dried tomatoes I’ve ever had! I just figured drying it out in the oven will be more sanitary than leaving it out in the sun for dirt and bugs to get to it. It still results in the same awesome flavor… and of course, it definitely helps to use fresh and tasty tomatoes with the right kind of seasonings.
On a baking sheet, we halved our cherry tomatoes along with garlic cloves and drizzled it with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled a blend of Italian seasonings on it with some salt and pepper. We popped it into a 225-degree oven and slowly dried it for about 3-4 hours. The time will depend on how juicy your tomatoes are. Just keep an eye on it every so often.
They should look like this when it's done, all shriveled up and ready to be eaten. The seasonings really gets absorbed into each tomato and the dehydration process just makes the flavors very concentrated. And yes, they still keep their nutritional value!
We made little appetizers to eat with our home-made Oven-Dried Cherry Tomatoes. We simply took a pita bread and cut them into triangles, then added freshly grated smoked gouda cheese and topped it with the tomatoes. We crisped up the bread and melted the cheese in a toaster oven to achieve a delectable appetizer to enjoy.
If you prefer goat cheese like me, then you can spread it on to the crispy pita and top it with the oven-dried tomatoes for a delicious treat. If you don't have pita bread on hand, you can just use crackers. Either way, you will never want to eat store-bought sun-dried tomatoes again when you can make fresher ones that taste 10x better. To preserve it, just add olive oil to the jar. Another good idea: make a lot, jar it, and give it away as gifts! Who wouldn't appreciate that?
Leave a Reply