Making your own sun-dried tomatoes is quick, easy, and another way to control what goes into your food. Homemade sun-dried tomatoes taste far superior to the dried tomatoes you buy in most stores. By drying them at home, you can also dry them to the texture you prefer.
I don’t have enough Roma tomatoes to do dry a full batch, so I decided to go with a mixture of Roma, cherry Chadwick’s, and regular cherry tomatoes. The Chadwick's are the larger round ones.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Pan of boiling water
- Bowl of ice water
- Cutting board
- Dehydrator, wire or mesh screen or baking sheet
While your water is getting to a boiling point, clean your tomatoes.
Fill a bowl full of water and ice. Be sure to leave enough room for the tomatoes to go in without causing the water to overflow.
Once your water is boiling, drop your tomatoes in a few at a time. Leave them in only long enough to make the skin crack, usually about 1-2 minutes. Remember you don’t want to cook them; only loosen the skin.
Carefully remove the tomatoes from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately place them in the ice water. This quickly cools the tomato down to prevent it from cooking and makes it easy to handle.
After about 1-2 minutes, you can handle the tomatoes. You will notice the skin of the tomato has cracks, gently rub the skin, and it will come off. Discard the skin and place the skinned tomatoes in a bowl. I usually wait to take the skins off until I have all my tomatoes done to avoid leaving them in the boiling water too long.
Now that all your tomatoes are done, you have a few options. If they are large, I suggest taking the seeds out. For Roma and smaller, I usually don’t bother. I also do not core the smaller ones. Once you decide on de-seeding or not, all you have left to do is slice them. The size of your slices will help determine how long it takes for them to dry. Often times I cut small cherry tomatoes in half and quarter larger ones. If you are using larger tomatoes and de-seed them, you can slice them.
Place your cut tomatoes with the membrane side up on your dryer sheets. I am using an electric dehydrator, but you can also use a screen or the oven. If you use a screen outside, be sure to cover them with cheesecloth and bring them inside at night if they do not dry the first day. In my electric dehydrator, they are usually done in about 6 hours.
You can tell they are done when they are dry but pliable. Sun-dried tomatoes can be stored in an airtight baggie, glass jar, or freezer.
To use them, rehydrate them in water until they are soft again. When tasting them you will find they are no longer acidic but slightly sweet and savory!
If your recipe calls for sun-dried tomatoes in oil here is a great recipe.
Do you enjoy tomatoes? What is your favorite way to use them?