Friday, October 17, 2008

MoFo 17: Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Roma Tomatoes
Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
Following up on yesterday's post, here's my favorite method for oven-drying tomatoes. This method, which I've adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman, will also work for peaches and nectarines.

Oven-Dried Tomatoes
Makes: Depends on how much you start with
Time: Several hours, largely unattended
  • Plum or Roma Tomatoes, washed, cored, halved, and seeded (enough to make it worth your while, but not more than will easily fit in your oven - I dried 2 pounds of tomatoes)
  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Set 2 wire racks on tope of 2 baking sheets (I only needed one). This works better if they are rimmed sheets. Give your rack a quick shot of nonstick spray.  Place the tomatoes on the racks, cut side down. Put them in the oven and forget about them for 2 hours.

  2. Tomatoes After 2 Hours
    Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
    Turn the sheet around and check on the tomatoes. You have several choices: If you just want to intensify the tomato flavor and use them immediately, they're done when still soft but somewhat shriveled, 2-3 hours total. If you want to keep them

    Tomatoes After 4 Hours
    Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
    for a few days, they're done when they're shriveled and mostly dry, at least 4 hours total (wrap and refrigerate, or freeze). If you want to keep them for weeks, they're done when they're dark, shriveled, and dry, 6 or more hours total (wrap

    Tomatoes After 6 Hours
    Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
    and refrigerate or store in a jar in the pantry.  In this last photo, you can see the tomato on the left is done while the one on the right is not quite there yet.  Just pull them out of the oven as they finish drying and rearrange the ones that need a bit more heat as you go.
You can use this same method for cherry or grape tomatoes. They come out like big raisins! Use 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise.

So, what do you do with oven-dried tomatoes? I'm glad you asked! The possibilities are vast, but here are a few of my favorites:
  • eat them as-is
  • add them to salads
  • toss them with pasta
  • serve them with dip (like you would a cracker - great way to wow your guests)
  • grind them into a powder with other seasonings or dried produce to use in various cooking applications
  • reconstitute them 
To reconstitute oven-dried tomatoes (or any dried veggie or fruit), an equal amount of water and dried produce is needed.  Boiling water makes for a short reconstitution time.  Generally, it takes 15 minutes - 3 hours depending on the texture and thickness of the veggies or fruit.


Zoey said...

Hi Marni,

Those tomatoes look so good. It never occurred to me to dry my own tomatoes so thank you for showing me how simple it is!

Jeni Treehugger said...

I'm so happy you blogged about this. It's something I've been meaning to do for AGES but always forgot to google it.

Anonymous said...

Wow it looks really easy! The tomatoes look really good. I may have to buy a dehyrader as my oven is dumb it turns off when ever it feels like it so it may not work for this.

Marni said...

Zoey - You are most welcome!

Jeni Treehugger - I'm stoked you're happy! :) I hope you give it a try.

TheVeganFoodie - It *is* easy! Bummer that your oven is possessed. I couldn't live without a functioning oven. I feel for you. I'm going to go kiss my oven now. ;)