Friday, August 12, 2011

Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Packed Two Ways

It's tomato month at our house. 

When it rains, it pours.  Tomatoes, that is.

I love to make Bacon, Tomato and Blue Cheese Sandwiches and White Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Tomatoes and Pesto.  And Israeli Couscous Salad.

I know I'm not the only one with tomatoes running out of my ears.

But when tomato season is over, I just might cry.

And then I will feel better when I see these Oven-Dried Tomatoes in my fridge and in my cabinet.

It doesn't get any easier than this, people.

Slice some Romas in half and put them on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle them with salt.

Slow-roast them at 250 degrees for several hours.  Be patient, because it will take several hours.

Here they are after a couple hours:

They're just beginning to shrivel and dry.

They're almost done here:

And now they're done!  Yay.

When they're dry, let them cool to room temperature.  And then you can put them in a zipper bag and either throw them in the fridge, freezer, or put them on the counter.  And use them just like you would sun-dried tomatoes that you bought at the store.

Or you can pack them in a jar with garlic, thyme, and olive oil and put them in the fridge.  Now you'll have sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, AND flavored olive oil.  I mean, how cool is that?

I made a double batch and tried storing them both ways.

If you pack them in some special jar, they would make a great gift.  The garlic and thyme look so neat.

So go put some tomatoes in your fridge so you can enjoy tomato season in November, too!

Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Packed Two Ways

30 Roma (or plum) tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt

Wash the tomatoes well.  Trim the stem off and slice the tomatoes in half.  Line the tomatoes, cut side up, on a 12x18 baking sheet. 

Bake on 250 degrees for about 4-6 hours, until the tomatoes are dried and shriveled but not brittle.

Remove from the oven and allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature. 

Pack in plastic zipper bags.  You can store in the freezer, fridge, or at room temperature.  They last a long time.

Or you can pack in olive oil with garlic and thyme.  Take a jar, fill it loosely with the dried tomatoes, smash three garlic cloves and place them in the jar along with a little bundle of thyme.  Pour extra-virgin olive oil over the tomatoes and cover.  Store in the refrigerator.

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