Oven Dried Preserved Tomatoes
Drying tomatoes in the sun is a beautiful thing to do, but you can achieve the same results much more quickly using your home oven. Make like the 90's and put oven dried tomatoes in everything from couscous salad to a focaccia sandwich.
Makes 4 x 200 ml jars
- 2kg tomatoes
- 150ml of olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 cup vinegar
- 3/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- optional flavours: garlic, peppercorns, thyme, oregano, basil stems etc
Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature it can go. We do ours on 65 degrees but most domestic ovens can only go as low as 100 degrees. You can also use a dehydrator if you have one.
Wash your tomatoes and half or quarter depending on size. Place on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper or on a wire rack over a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Put into the oven.
For ovens set to 100 degrees the tomatoes can take 7-9 hours to dry. Ovens set on 65 degrees can take 10-12 hours. If your oven feels too hot you can wedge the door open with a wooden spoon to increase airflow. You want your tomatoes to be mostly dried, but maintain some plumpness.
When the tomatoes are finished drying, let cool completely. To sterilise your jars: give your jars and lids a soapy hot wash and a good rinse or put them through the dishwasher. Put jars into a low oven (110 degrees) for 15 minutes. Boil the lids for 5 minutes in a small saucepan, then let air dry.
Make pickling brine by putting the vinegar, water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to simmering point and then turn off the heat.
Carefully remove jars from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Add in any spices or herbs that you are going to use and then with small tongs or clean hands carefully pack the dried tomatoes into the jars. Pour the hot brine over ¾ of the tomatoes, remove air bubbles, making sure tomatoes are completely submerged. Fill the remainder of the jar with oil. Usually about a 2cm gap. Wipe the rim of the jar with clean paper towel and seal. Store in a cool dark place for up to 6 months. If the weather is particularly hot, store in the fridge.