by Henry Gould – Sept 9th, 2020
Late summer and early fall is when tomato season starts to hit its stride. Given the amazing weather we’ve been having (with no sign of let up) it’s likely that people’s back yard tomato plants will continue to produce well into September.
If you grow tomato plants at home, you’re probably getting sick of eating tomato salads every night, which is why you need something to do with all the excess bounty. Enter these homemade oven dried tomatoes, which are so amazingly delicious you will never buy the shriveled ones from the store ever again.
Obviously growing your own tomatoes to use is great, but otherwise smaller plum tomatoes from the store work best. You could oven dry heirloom tomatoes, but those are best eaten fresh (and expensive) so use your judgement.
The below method takes 4-8 hours in the oven, depending on the size of your tomatoes. They store great in the fridge, either in olive oil or just on their own.
After the recipe, check out some different ideas for using them.
Oven Dried Tomatoes
- Ripe tomatoes (plum, san marzano, or other longer varietal work best)
- Sea salt
Set your oven to 225F farenheit. Get a large sheet pan with a metal wire dry rack set over top. This allows air to circulate under the tomatoes; if they sit directly on the metal pan they tend to caramelize and stick to the pan.
Cut each tomato in half lengthwise (top to bottom). Arrange on the rack cut side up, then sprinkle lightly with sea salt over each tomato.
Put the pan in the oven for 2 hours, then check. Some tomatoes will dry quicker than others, so if some are getting very dry and shriveled, take them off and continue dry the others. The whole process can take up to 8 hours depending on the moisture in the tomatoes and how hot your oven gets.
When all are done, take them out and allow to cool. They can be stored in the fridge on their own in a jar, or covered in extra virgin olive oil.
*If you want to flavor the olive oil with herbs and chili flakes go ahead, but best to avoid raw garlic as there is the potential for botulism to be present in the anaerobic conditions of the oil.
Oven Dried Tomato Caprese Sandwich
- Good quality bread or baguette
- Fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil
Spread the bread with pesto, a drizzle of olive oil, some basil leaves, mozzarella and oven dried tomatoes.
Simple put your dried tomatoes in a food processor and blend to a paste. If too dry to blend, add olive oil.
Salmon w/ Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce
- 4 x Fresh salmon filets
- 250ml Whipping cream
- 8+ oven dried tomatoes pieces
- 2 tbsp oven dried tomato paste (using above method)
- Sea salt
- Chili flakes
- Fresh chopped basil or parsley
Get a large enough frying pan or saucepan that has a lid, which can hold all 4 salmon filets. Add the 2 tbsp of tomato paste and the 250ml of whipping cream. Using a spatula, mash the tomato paste to break it up and combine with the cream. Turn the heat onto medium and slowly whisk around to distribute the tomato paste. Bring to a boil and reduce slightly, then season with salt and chili flakes.
Once boiling, add the salmon filets and the remaining oven dried tomatoes, then put the lid on and cook for 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon.
Once done, sprinkle over with the basil or parsley and serve.