Have you ever wanted to make sun-dried tomatoes but you didn’t want to deal with insects, furry critters or any other outdoor elements? Maybe you’re like me and you’re afraid that your kitty will run off with all of your gorgeous garden tomatoes. This is a simple solution – oven-dry your tomatoes instead. Your precious tomatoes will be safe and sound in your oven and they’ll be ready to pop in your mouth by the end of the day. Sometimes I really love technology… unless my phone freaks out on me. Those moments really make me dislike technology. It’s a love/hate relationship.
This is a great way to use up leftover tomatoes that are about to turn. It’s a nice change from making marinara sauce. Plus sun-dried tomatoes may be the only dehydrated item out there that you could consider gourmet. Gettin’ fancy now.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F, or the lowest setting possible. Remove oven racks. Trim and discard the stem ends of the tomatoes. Halve each tomato lengthwise. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, side by side and crosswise on cake racks set on the oven racks. Do not allow the tomatoes to touch one another. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Place in the oven and bake until the tomatoes are shriveled and feel dry, anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. Check the tomatoes from time to time: They should remain rather flexible, not at all brittle. Once dried, remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to thoroughly cool on cake racks. (Smaller tomatoes will dry more quickly than larger ones. Remove each tomato from the oven as it is dried.)
Transfer the tomatoes to zipper-lock bags or submerge in olive oil with garlic and other Italian spices.