Oven dried tomatoes are a fantastic way to add a burst of flavour and colour to any dish, including salads, pasta, tarts or omelettes. You can use tomatoes which may be a little lackluster in flavour too, as the slow drying intensifies the taste.
I have included 2 recipes for oven dried tomatoes, semi-dried which have a little more juice to them, and fully dried tomatoes which are more like the shop bought kind. Both are delicious, they store better if they are dried, up to 2 months, but the semi dried tomatoes will last 3-4 days in the fridge. The oven dried tomatoes recipes are taken from River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook, which is a favourite of mine and is used regularly.
Semi Oven Dried Tomatoes
- 1kg ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves, ripped into 2-3 pieces
- 2-3 tbsps olive oil, plus extra for storage
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Halve or quarter the tomatoes. Scoop out and discard most of the seeds. Stand on a wire rack with newspaper underneath.
- Combine the sugar with 1/2 tsp salt. Sprinkle a pinch over the inside of each tomato piece, then place upside down on the rack. Leave for 1 hour for the juices to drip.
- Preheat the oven to very low, about 100°C. Transfer the tomatoes, turning them cut side up, to a large baking tray. Scstter with the thyme, bay, black pepper and olive oil and place in the oven.
- Check after 1-2 hours to ensure the tomatoes aren’t cooking, only drying. It should take the tomatoes 4-5 hours to have semi dried tomatoes.
Oven dried tomatoes
- Follow the recipe as above, but leave the tomatoes in the oven for 7-8 hours for more ‘sun dried’ tomatoes.
- Leave them to cool and then pack into glass jars, adding the following ingredients:
- A few bashed-up whole cloves
- 1tbsp finely chopped sage
- 1tbsp finely chopped thyme
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cover with olive oil (or you could use hemp oil) and seal. They will keep, in the fridge, for up to two months as long as the tomatoes remain covered in oil. Use them in salads, omelettes and pasta dishes, or as antipasti.